Game 141: The One Where Matt Williams Got Everyone Pumped Up

Well, that title isn’t exactly fair to Doug Fister and the rest of the Nats, but oh boy did the already excited crowd become electrified after Matt Williams’ visit to the mound resulted in Fister staying in the game to finish the 7th inning.

With two runners on and two outs, Fister was able to get out of the inning and escape the jam.  It was a high tension moment and all that stress may have led to Ray Knight doing his best impression of a Bayer commercial:

Yesterday’s game was the first in the three game series against the Braves. The Nats started the day seven games up in the NL East and the Braves essentially needed to get a sweep to remotely stay alive in the division.  It is no secret that the Nats haven’t exactly had the best of luck against the Braves the past couple seasons, so, justifiably or not, losing game one of the series last night would have made even the most stoic Nats fan a bit nervous.

FP Santangelo said before the game that it was, “the biggest game of the year so far.” (He was probably right).  Uncle Ray wasn’t quite as eloquent about the importance of taking game one.  Notice his terrifying need to clarify, “especially in baseball” while loosely describing the plot of Rambo:

Yikes.

The Nats did it though and won a very exciting first game, defeating the Braves 2-1 and extending their lead in the NL East to 8 games and lowering their magic number to clinch to 12.  The game was a fast (under two and a half hours) low scoring affair.  Mike Minor pitched great for the Braves but his giving up 1 run was all Fister needed to out duel him with his gem.  Fister got the win, going 7IP, giving up 2H, 0ER, 3BB, and 3Ks on 104 pitches.  Drew Storen came in the 9th and struck out the side for the save.

That’s enough stats and numbers from me.

I think it’s time to talk about what MASN announcers Bob and FP found beautiful in nature during the broadcast…

FP commenting on the sunset:

Bob commenting on Scott Hairston (during Rendon’s at-bat):

Alright, back to the game.  The Nats scored first in the bottom of the 1st with Ian Desmond’s opposite field single.  It was an impressive hit in a clutch spot to get that early lead:

Fister rolled through the first three innings (which was made even easier by Evan Gattis not being in the lineup because he was hanging out with your kids and got strep throat), getting most outs via the ground ball.  The Nats had another shot to score but were robbed by Freddie Freeman’s sliding catch in right field:

Bob and FP managed to behave themselves over the next few innings so the action really picks up again in the aforementioned top of the 7th inning.  Fister got two outs, but also walked two batters in the process.  Matt Williams came out of the dugout presumably to replace his starter in this 1-0 game.  The crowd, which had already been boisterous, were on their feet to give Fister an ovation.  However, Williams left him in the game and the crowd erupted:

As you know, Fister induced a ground ball and got that last out.

How about we take a look at the fans reaction when Fister walked off the field after that inning:

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I’d make fun of these guys, but I’m positive they are all going to be my boss one day.

The Nats and the Braves each added a run in their respective half innings so let’s move on to the 9th inning in this 2-1 ball game.  Rafael Soriano– who, like your kid brother that you don’t want to deal with when your friends come over– already threw a ‘very impressive bullpen session’ earlier in the day, to ensure that he would not be able to play.  Since he was, presumably, safely asleep in his hyperbaric chamber, the Nationals called on Drew Storen for the 2nd time to two days to get the save.  He struck out the side, ending each batter with a different pitch: change, slider, then fastball.

Everyone in the crowd was on their feet for the final out and Jose Lobaton may have tied Kevin Fransden for ‘fist pump of the year’ after the final strike here:

The Nats look to keep things rolling tonight with another great pitching matchup of Ervin Santana for the Braves against Jordan Zimmermann for the Nats.  Hopefully, Bob and FP will skip their impressions’ of Boston accent’s tonight.

If you see or hear anything worth noting from tonight’s game, feel free to give me a shout on twitter @fitnessmcdaniel.

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