Davey Johnson called it right last night when he said the Nationals 7-6 win over the Mets in 12 innings wasn’t a well-played game. My eyes admittedly drifted as the bullpen cost Jordan Zimmermann a win after another well-pitched game (fantasy curse!). But despite the optics, to both teams credit, they kept fighting back each time it looked like the game was in the bag for one of them. Much to the delight of Nats fans, it was Bryce Harper who struck the final blow of the back and forth struggle, with a walk-off single in the bottom of the twelfth.
Game ball(s): Harper. What is even more impressive than his first career walk-off hit is the kid’s dissatisfaction at going 2 for 7 and striking out twice. It reinforces what Mets catcher Josh Thole said about Harper when he said that Harper cares about the little things, like making outs via the strikeout. His God-given 5-tool talent is what gives Harper a shot at greatness. The fact that he cares about the little things is what will make him great.
Goat(s): I should probably get on the bullpen but I’m still trying to understand Davey’s quick hook (again) with Jordan. I know he got touched up some in the top of the sixth but up until then he was cruising and was only at 81 pitches when he was yanked. Sure, all 3 batters he was to face in the top of the seventh were lefties, but to needlessly call upon your relief staff because you are concerned Zimm can’t handle the trio of Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis (.160 BA!!!), and Josh Thole seems to show you lack confidence when you shouldn’t. And moves like that do have repercussions when a pen gets unnecessarily extended (see 8th inning).
Bryce Harper is still only 19: The very clutch Ian Desmond, who drove in the game-tying run in the 8th, 10th, and 12th innings.
Current Record: 31-22