Though this Nationals’ season won't go down in the history books as a memorable one, the club has shown heart in a season of uncertainty. That trend continued on Monday as the Nats walked off on the visiting New York Mets.
In the first inning, Washington fell behind early again as they conceded a run on a Pete Alonso RBI single. But, as they’ve shown a tendency to do, the Nationals rallied back. A Juan Soto RBI groundout in the bottom of the first would be followed by a Mets run, then a Nats run, then a Mets solo homer, eventually sending the game to the ninth inning with Nats trailing by one.
With one out and runners on first and second base, Andrew Stevenson lasered a single into right field to score Alcides Escobar. New York would challenge whether or not Garcia in fact touched the base on his game-tying run, which was eventually confirmed. 3-3 ball game with one out and runners on the corners.
Enter Carter Kieboom. On an 0-1 count, Kieboom knocked a dribbler over the mound and up the middle. Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor tried to make a play but couldn’t and the ball escaped the infield, scoring Josh Bell. Nats win 4-3.
While wins have been harder to come by since the Nationals became sellers at the trade deadline, the players they've acquired have made strong impressions (Jon Lester for Lane Thomas, Brad Hand for Riley Adams, etc.) with chants of ‘In Rizzo We Trust’ ringing out on Nats’ social media platforms.
Davey Martinez has instilled a culture of heart and grit into this team since his arrival as manager in 2018. He showed that type of never-give-up attitude when he was ejected (on crutches, no less) while his team was down 6-0 on Saturday. Fans and players alike have their sights on 2022, and with the influx of young talent on the Nationals’ roster, it’s never too early to start being excited for what the future holds. Washington’s walk-off win over New York on Labor Day might just be a sign of things to come.