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Jayson Werth delivers walkoff homer vs. Cardinals to force a Game 5 in NLDS

Oct 11, 2012, 7:23 PM EDT

Jayson Werth AP AP

We’re going to have yet another Game 5 in this already thrilling postseason.

Jayson Werth clubbed a walkoff solo homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning this evening to power the Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS. It forces a fifth and deciding game in the series tomorrow night in Washington, D.C.

The home run came on the 14th pitch of an intense duel with Lance Lynn where Werth battled back from 0-2 and fouled off a number of tough pitches. But he eventually found a pitch to his liking and put it over the left field fence and into the bullpen for the first playoff win in Washington, D.C. since 1933.

Ross Detwiler allowed an unearned run over six six innings before Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen combined for three innings of shutout relief. Eight of the nine outs recorded by the trio were via the strikeout, though they did get some help from a very questionable strike zone from home plate umpire Jim Joyce. Pete Kozma drew a walk with two outs in the top of the ninth and likely would have scored on a bloop into shallow left field off the bat of Matt Carpenter, but Ian Desmond was able to chase it down while making an impressive over-the-shoulder catch.

Kyle Lohse was very solid in a no-decision, allowing just one run on two hits and walk over 7 2/3 innings. His only mistake was a solo home run by Adam LaRoche in the second inning, but he simply didn’t get enough help from his offense on this day.

We’ll get a rematch from Game 1 tomorrow night, as Adam Wainwright will get the call for the Cardinals and Gio Gonzalez will pitch for the Nationals.

  1. atom55 - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Jim Joyce was *awful* tonight. I don’t think it adversely affected one team or another, but it was embarassing. Pitches five feet off the plate would be called strikes, pitches that hit the corner would be balls.

    If one play summed up his night, it was when Joyce called a hit by pitch on a ball that didn’t come anywhere close to hitting the batter (it would have been ball 4 anyway). Awful, awful job.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      Put a sock in it.

      Walkoff homeruns in playoff games don’t happen every day.*

      * It only seems like it.

    • dcfan4life - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      Jim Joyce in general has had a shaky series umpiring. I dont know whats the deal, hes arguably the best umpire in baseball. But his calls at first base, his strike zone, all inconsistantly bad. Shocking really.

      • hardballtalkusername - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:56 AM

        I assume umpires also feel the added pressure of the playoffs, and my guess would be that the pressure has gotten to him and negatively impacted his performance. He was truly awful today.

  2. jxegh - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    So Washington has a all or nothing game 5 to move on. Remind me again – where’s Strasburg?

    • marinersnate - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      Gonzalez has been the Nat’s best pitcher this year, not Strasburg. Gio would most likely have gotten the ball in Games 1 & 5 whether Strasburg was pitching or not.

      • dcfan4life - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

        While Gonzalez has been amazing, Jordan Zimmerman statistically has been our best pitcher most of the year. But thats whats so great about this Nats team, that we can have this discussion on whos the best Nats pitcher and you can say 3 of them qualify. And im not including Detweiler who pitched AWESOME tonight. Love it. Cant wait until tomorrow.

      • greymares - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:32 PM

        maybe a 5th wouldn’t have been needed.Rizzo is kind of like the little league daddy that wouldn’t let johnny pitch.

    • thrstr - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Strasburg would have pitched in game 3, when they were shut out. Remind me again, do you have anything of significance to contribute here?

      • 18thstreet - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        Really? I think he pitched opening day. Wouldn’t he have started game two?

        I’ve said this elsewhere (and Craig said it more eloquently than I have), but it’s driving me crazy that every loss is blamed on the absence of Strasburg. I want to see him out there. I think he should be out there. But he would have gotten one start, and I think it would have been game two.

        I *love* using Zimmermann like they did last night. Seems to happen in the playoffs all the time — using a guy who would have had his throwing session that day in a game situation instead. I love it, and I think teams could construct their rosters VERY differently if they planned on using their starters out of the bullpen between starts. It would mean FAR less reliance on the worst pitchers (the team’s middle relievers), and would maybe allow teams to carry an extra hitter instead of an extra pitcher. And THAT would negate other teams’ bullpen depth, which might mean fewer one-out relievers.

        I’m not sure of any of the above, but I’m pleased that it was Zimmerman and not someone else as the first guy out of the pen yesterday.

  3. jfian24 - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Epic at bat by Werth. That contract doesn’t seem so bad right now. Go Nats!

    • xmatt0926x - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      No. It’s still that bad….

      • recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM

        If only Dom Brown ever becomes good enough to deserve a deal like that…

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      That HR was definitely Werth the $146 million. Ha! Get it?

      I’ll show myself out now.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        Sorry, only $126 million…..

      • akismet-e6748cca3a16ea6e8283008d25583adc - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:19 PM

        Whatever man. Who’s your team? Because if your team has purchased a FA on the open market in the last few years you’re likely to have just as contemptible contract as Werth’s may seem. Yankees Fans: liking the $119M still owed to A-Rod? Red Sox fans: how’s Carl Crawford working out? Phillies fans: you happy about the $91M you have tied up in 5 aging players next year? Angels: Wells. Cubs: Soriano. Rangers: Michael Young. Giants & Zito. Mets & Santana.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        Carl Crawford is no longer Boston’s problem. He cost the team roughly $40 million for two years.

    • dcfan4life - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      The contract is way to much considering the production. I mean less than 10 guys in the league warrant money like that. But when Jayson Werth is NOT the best player on a team, not in a “must do awesome” position like hitting 3rd or 4th, he is really good, and thats what he is now. And it shows, go Nats.

  4. Innocent Bystander - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Another ex-Phillies walk off.

    • sdelmonte - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      Was about to post that.

      Look out for Hunter Pence!

  5. blacksables - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    3 hits by the Nationals, and some lights out relief pitching that won’t happen again tomorrow. They still aren’t hitting the ball, and the Cardinals pitching is still better.

    Wainwright vs the Nationals offense > Gonzalez vs the Cardinals offense.

    Cardinals are booking their flights to San Francicso.

    • East Coast Raider - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      And yet, it’s 2-2.

      Both teams are booking flights. Only one will get to cash them in. And no matter how many “internet experts” claim it’ll turn out one way or the other, nobody will no until tomorrow night!

      • East Coast Raider - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:21 PM

        Yes, the spelling error was alcohol-fueled!

      • natstowngreg - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:53 PM

        Always good to book as early as possible. And make sure you get refundable tickets. :)

        If the Cards win, they would travel to San Francisco Saturday. Both teams would travel to St. Louis Tuesday.

        If the Nats win, the Giants would travel to DC Saturday. Both teams would travel to San Francisco Tuesday.

        [Of course, this also depends on the weather.]

    • East Coast Raider - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      And yet, it’s 2-2.

      Both teams are booking flights. Only one will get to cash them in. And no matter how many “internet experts” claim it’ll turn out one way or the other, nobody will know until tomorrow night!

    • dcfan4life - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM

      Dominant pitching always wins. So if Gio is dominant and Wainwright isnt, Nats win, if it is the other way, Cards win, and if there both dominant, it will come to the bullpen and maybe 3 hits again. Nats did have 3 hits, but 2 home runs. Thats all it takes when pitching is dominant.

    • kkolchak - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:08 PM

      Why? Are they marching in a Gay Pride Parade this weekend?

      Not that there is anything WRONG with it. :)

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Sables: Not sure what hell you are doing…but knock that shit off.
      You trying to jinx a team? Only an idiot counts his chickens before they hatch.
      There is a reason Washington led MLB in Wins.
      Gio will NOT have back-to-back bad outings. For this reason…it was incredibly important to get a win yesterday.

  6. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    How about them Phillies…Ibanez, Pence and now Werth. Just thankful Rolen struck out.

  7. pkswally024 - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Die hard phills fan here. Pat Gillick took a chance with Werth and it paid out ten fold. And though I hate to see anyone in our division doing well, with all the adversity that man has dealt with, I’m really happy for him. F U and your 100+ million contract…

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      “And though I hate to see anyone in our division doing well”
      Odd. I (and all my baseball loving buddies) are just the opposite.
      Always root for the division.

  8. robmar924 - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Nats offense has been awful and the pitching sub par and its still tied. The Cards are playing really strong but still lucky to have a game 5 and that game 1 8th innings hit by Moore is looming even larger now

    • dcfan4life - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      Scoring 10 runs in 4 games isnt that good no, but in 2 wins they allowed 3 runs, that is really good, and thats why the Nationals are here. They allow a low number of runs a lot more than they allow a lot of runs. If that pitching performance shows up again tomorrow, they will win again and move on. With Gio going and probably not nearly as nervous as game 1, i like our chances a lot.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:07 PM

        With Gio going and probably not nearly as nervous as game 1

        Yeah, I mean it’s not like he’s pitching tomorrow with the season on the line or anything, oh wait…

      • 18thstreet - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM

        Gio’s been better at home, for what it’s worth.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      Yep…they were 4 outs away. They get those outs and yesterday’s game doesn’t take place.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I was especially fond of the post game interview, where Werth looked wild-eyed and paranoid- constantly looking over the shoulder of the interviewer and yelling the entire time. Very entertaining.

    • tmohr - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      Isn’t that his default mode?

      • kkolchak - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:10 PM

        Yeah, he ALWAYS looks like that. He’s one intense, odd dude.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      I liked that he was obviously looking at the going-crazy crowd and that he told the TBS reporter to basically stuff all the nonsense about how the team had lost its confidence. Best postgame interview I’ve seen all year – genuine and tough. I like the professional brusqueness of it. You must be a very sensitive individual for someone who calls himself “deathmonkey.”

      • deathmonkey41 - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        Sensitive? I said I liked it!!!

      • recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:31 PM

        My bad – I misread you, Sir Deathmonkey. I will flog myself.

  10. Kevin S. - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    But I thought Jayson Werth only cared about money, not winning.

    • kkolchak - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Well, you thought wrong. Werth essentially took over the Nats’ clubhouse as team leader from day one. One of the first things he did was run head case Nyjer Morgan out of town.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        I’m fascinated when anyone speaks authoritatively about what happens in the clubhouse. I’m not saying it didn’t happen as Kolchak described; I’m saying none of us know.

  11. orakpownd - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    What a game! Stadium was electric
    I did not want to see the Cards in the first series as they are post season vets but hopefully us newbies can play like we have all year. Post season is new to DC baseball but I am sure there are clubs that would love to be playing in Oct. After 7 years of existence

    • natstowngreg - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      Tonight’s game was like Nats’ wins in April. Strong pitching, little run support. But somehow, finding a way to win.

  12. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    C’mon dude Werth got offered double what anyone else was gonna give him.
    He would have took that cash no matter what team was throwing it.

    • dcfan4life - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Double, no, but 7 years, yes. Highest competting contract offer was 5 years. That was the difference, especially in baseball when every dollar of contracts are gauranteed.

  13. mplsjoe - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Sure would be nice to be able to run Strasburg out for Game 5. But the Nats, I guess, are smarter than that.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:33 PM

      Unless you’re a fan of a team still in the playoffs, yes: the Nats are smarter than whatever you follow. Or maybe they just won more games than anybody else in baseball this year and can direct their own destiny as a franchise. But I guess you have a problem with that.

      • mplsjoe - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:02 PM

        I have a problem with bad baseball management. Actually, I don’t really have a problem with it, I just feel sorry for the players who have to ensure it,

    • kkolchak - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      They’re smarter than you, obviously.

  14. vicksprman - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Look last night Rauuuuuul, tonight J-Dub as a Phillie fan I love it!!!!

    • baccards - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM


      what the hell is a J-Dub?

      • vicksprman - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        J.W. if you have to ask forget about it. I guess your not a Phillies fan.

  15. recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    In the long run, win or lose, Werth’s walkoff tonight will be remembered far more than the outcome of this series, as a defining moment for DC baseball. Frankly, we were getting stomped until today. The hitting dried up and the pitching abandoned us. It was looking like the Nats were going out with a whimper, not on their shields. That would have sucked and would have cast a pall over the whole season, making fans suspect that the critics are right and this is just a fluke, a case of an upstart team being put back in its place. But now, the Nats have the feel of a dangerous team that can make anything happen when the game is on the line. So win or lose tomorrow, thanks Jayson.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      “thanks Jayson” ???
      As a Cubs fan you root outside of the division?

  16. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Werth was offered 5 year 66 mil (13.2)
    so 60 mil more may not be double but damn close. nobody was giving him 18 a year except for nats.

    And as a phillies don’t know how you can love it. It’s bittersweet at best and aggravating at worst.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      How do you know this?

      • dannythebisforbeast - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        pretty much stated by phillies GM

  17. umrguy42 - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    As a Cards fan (who wasn’t able to see or even follow the game today), all I can say is, well, sh*t.

  18. mungman69 - Oct 12, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    The home plate ump was awful. How does a guy like that get into the playoffs?

  19. mungman69 - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    It was 13 pitches!

  20. stlouis1baseball - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Congratulations to the Nationals for the big Win yesterday.
    Great AB by Werth.
    Although I saw it coming (after about the 25th straight fastball)…he still had to put solid wood on the ball. Of which he did a fine job. Good job Werth.
    Now…it’s on to game #5.

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