Nats: Jayson Werth hits walk-off homer to beat Cardinals in 2-1 thriller, push NLDS to Game 5

Last night goes down as one of the great nights in the Washington Nationals history. Following 9 innings of 1 run (unearned) pitching by Ross Detwiler, Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, Jayson Werth led off the bottom of the 9th inning. The outfielder, oft-maligned for his enormous contract, faced 12 Lance Lynn pitches – 10 after taking the first 2 for called strikes and worked a full
count. A fascinating stat:

Prior to the 13th pitch, Charlie Slowes hinted to his partner Dave Jageler that Werth had been in this sort of situation before.

Werth’s home run was the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The
Slowes call on the Washington Nationals Radio Network summoned the home run (DC Sports Bog, The Post. ) is required listening – Slowes saw it coming.

Werth’s homer created pandemonium at WWN headquarters. The four year old resident — the same one who wanted to “play baseball” before the game and wound up pitching a hollow plastic ball to his father (holding his son’s hollow plastic bat) for a little bit was bouncing around yelling “THEY WON!”

Throughout the day, few Nats fans made the effort to conceal their anxiety following yesterday’s 12-4 beat-down. Elation prevailed as the series would be extended to the full five games.

It would not have gotten that far without the performance of Detwiler’s career, to date. The Missouri native pitched 6 innings with no earned runs and more pitches than he had ever thrown as a major leaguer. Zimmermann made his first relief appearance since his days at A-Carolina League Potomac and struck out three, hitting 97 m.p.h. Clippard struck out three and walked one. Storen pitched in danger a little bit, but Ian Desmond, atoning for the earlier error that contributed to the Cardinals one run, made a running, back-handed overhead catch in left field to end the ninth inning.

The Nats prevailed on two solo home runs — a runner never reached scoring position. While unorthodox, that proved an effective way to deal with awful hitting with runners in scoring position during this series. Kyle Loshe pitched well for St. Louis and has nothing to show for it but some attaboys in the dugout.

The series concludes tomorrow with Gio Gonzalez facing Adam Wainwright for a trip to the NLCS to face the San Francisco Giants who came back from 2-0 to win 3 straight on the road to eliminate the Cincinnati Reds.

DOES THE CREDIT GO TO “THE MAN IN THE DUGOUT, NOT ON THE 25-MAN ROSTER?

Mark DeRosa, who is not on the 25 man roster, but still with the team, read aloud the famous “Man in the Arena” speech. He closed it by saying, “do you know how said that? Teddy expletive deleted Roosevelt.

Teddy Roosevelt speech spurs Nationals to Game 4 victoryLet Teddy Win
Mark DeRosa read Theodore Roosevelt speech to Nationals before Game 4The Post

ADAM KILGORE WITH A GREAT DEADLINE RECAP

NLDS Game 4: Jayson Werth homer wins it for the Nationals in the bottom of the ninthThe Post

MARK ZUCKERMAN WITH THE HISTORICAL ANGLE
Nats live to see another dayCSN Washington

And play again the Nationals will. They’ll be right back on South Capitol Street at 8:37 p.m. Friday for a winner-take-all Game 5 of what has become a remarkable series between one young ballclub that posted the sport’s best regular-season record and a veteran-laden squad trying to retain its World Series crown.

And they’ll do it in front of another sellout crowd that experienced more dizzying highs and terrifying lows over 2 hours and 55 minutes Thursday — not to mention over the last five days — than three generations of Washington baseball fans ever hoped to realize.

JOE POSNANSKI WRITES ABOUT FEARLESS LEADER

Davey – Joe Blogs

THE FIRST DRAFT

My wife asked to wear my Nats jersey to work today. She wants to go to tonight’s game, so if you have a pair of tickets, let me know.

I’m still nervous…

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