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Braves overcome 9-0 deficit, beat Nationals in 11 innings

Jul 20, 2012, 11:44 PM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Images

One can’t help but wonder just how late Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard were out last night.

Down 9-0 after five innings, the Braves rallied to beat the Nationals 11-10 in 11 innings Friday and cut Washington’s NL East lead down to 2 1/2 games.

It was the first time since 1987 that the Braves had come from 9-0 down to win. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said afterwards that it was, “Arguably the worst game I’ve ever managed.”

This one was all Stephen Strasburg early, but the Braves got to the young All-Star for four runs in the sixth and kept piling on from there. Storen, just back from elbow surgery, gave up his first two runs of the season in the eighth, with Sean Burnett allowing two more in the frame. Clippard then blew his third save when he gave up two runs in the ninth, putting the Nationals in a 10-9 hole.

Still, the biggest surprise may have come in the bottom of the ninth, with David Espinosa homered off Craig Kimbrel. It was just the fifth homer allowed by Kimbrel in 135 2/3 career innings, and it resulted in his second blown save of the year. He entered with a 1.22 ERA.

The Braves went on to win in 11 after Paul Janish singled in Dan Uggla. Chad Durbin pitched a perfect inning for his first save since 2009.

  1. thetruth702 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    what a win! and people say we have no offense.. only off their ace..we’re comin.

    • jahwerb - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:38 AM

      You know it was 9-2 when the Nats ace, Strasburg, came out of the game right? He was charged for 4 earned runs but Mike Gonzalez allowed 2 of those after Strasburg came out with 2 guys on. It’s not like the Braves crushed the ball off the ace. Calm down

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      The strike zone was very tight (for both teams), and the braves were patient. I believe two of the Braves runs were walked in. I wouldn’t call it a potent offense yet.

  2. tomtravis76 - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Clippard better pull it together, he has been melting down the past few games. Nats can’t risk him closing out too many more games until his head gets right with his arm. He sailed one to almost the top of the backstop the other night.

  3. hcf95688 - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:45 AM


  4. ezthinking - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    If only Uggla could face Strasburg every night .538/.600/1.154 that’s an 1.754 OPS! His 1 for 2 tonight off Stras brought down his average!

  5. DJ MC - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Fantastic game. I was there, wearing my Brian McCann jersey and rooting against the Nationals. But not too much: when Danny Espinosa hit that homer I got chills listening to the crowd. The only problem is I didn’t arrive early enough to get the giveaway beer stein.

    *I’m an Orioles fan, but I share a last name with the Braves’ catcher and thus have always considered him a favorite player. I don’t get the chance to wear it to a game that often.

    • 1historian - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Brooks Robinson was the greatest 3rd baseman of all time.

  6. funktron2x - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    After friggin Espinoza hit the HR off Craig, I was about to just give in to the idea that the Nats have the mojo this year. But then Janish, of all people, came through, and I thought – this NL East race could be pretty magical all around in 2012.

  7. goodellmustgo - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    The Nationals are done.

  8. nickmiller63 - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    The Braves won because they play the game right. No struttin’ on their side of the field, no sir.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      The Braves won this game because the Nats pitcher couldn’t find the strike zone. Both teams were doing their damnedest to play the game the right way in less than human conditions.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      The Braves won this game because the Nats pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone. Both teams were doing their damnedest to play the game the right way in less than human conditions.

      • wlschneider09 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        My apologies for the double post, attempting to edit on the fly.

  9. myedayok - Jul 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Every pitcher has a bad day once in a while. It may not be a bad thing for the Nats to have them all have one on the same day.

  10. orakpownd - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Double header today. I am liking this NL East stretch….its going to be about who wants it more, say what you want about the Nats….but they are hungry.

  11. schuckme - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Uh DAVID Espinosa?? seriously? you sure you didnt mean DANNY ESPINOSA?! This kind of thing is what irritates me about so called “sports writers” when more than half of them fail to double check facts and names im hardly a diehard all out balls out baseball fan but i do know it very well and the names of players and im not even a nats fan

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