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VIDEO: Adam LaRoche homers to give Nationals third straight walk-off victory

Aug 18, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

d75e49c7325fd46bb9b5fdd9257c8866 AP

The Nationals are making a habit out of this whole walk-off thing.

Adam LaRoche connected for a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning this evening to give the Nationals a dramatic 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks at Nationals Park. The Nationals have now won seven consecutive games, including three in a row in walk-off fashion. You don’t see that very often.

Watch video of the game-winning homer below:

Tonight’s game was an entertaining back-and-forth affair. Arizona grabbed an early lead before Wilson Ramos put the Nationals in front in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-run homer. The Diamondbacks quickly took the lead back with a two-run shot from Didi Gregorius in the top of the eighth, but the Nationals stormed back in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI triple from Anthony Rendon and a sacrifice fly from Jayson Werth. Tyler Clippard, filling in for Rafael Soriano, then blew the save in the top of the ninth before the Nationals won the game in extras.

Believe it or not, this was LaRoche’s first career walk-off homer. After a bit of a power outage, he has gone deep six times in his last 12 games and is now up to 19 homers on the year.

The Nationals now sit at 70-53 on the season, six games up on the Braves in the National League East. They own the best record in the National League.

  1. recoveringcubsfan - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    They look like they’re having a lot of fun right now. Very loose team, hitting and pitching. The defense is still spotty, but when you see guys who believe they can score whenever they have to, it isn’t that important.

    On the AZ side, DiDi Gregorius had himself a very nice game. HR, some slick plays in the field, and he showed unexpected concern for Cabrera after he accidentally kicked him in the head on the double-play turn. Really nice sportsmanship even though he didn’t do anything wrong at all.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:34 AM

      Everything you said, but another blown save is troubling. But wow, what a 3 day trip!! First time since 1988 the Nats/Expos have had 3 straight walk-offs. ALR’s blast hit almost the same spot the AZ tying HR hit.

      • voteforno6 - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:56 AM

        I guess you could be concerned about the blown saves. Sometimes, though, you just need to enjoy the games.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:00 AM

        Yep- guess it was a night for crushing hanging off-speed pitches into the second deck ribbon in right. Clipp hung a slider, I believe, and the kid at the end for AZ hung a curve.

        Interesting contrast with the article on HBT about Fister being more successful than some of the power arms he’s been on a team with; contrast that with what you raised about the closer situation in Washington. Soriano has 92 MPH heat, tops. Clippard is 93 pretty much all the time. Now Storen, he still has 95/96 and that beautiful slider. But right now, the Nats have 2 closers who don’t throw all that hard for late-inning relievers and they’re struggling. Clipp still nibbles a lot. Soriano can’t keep the ball down. I liked the Fister piece, but the key is his control and that sinker being on all the time. We don’t have a bullpen arm like that right now.

      • NatsLady - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:41 AM

        It’s really hard for me to worry about Clip. He hadn’t allowed a run since before the All-Star break (something like 14 appearances) and hadn’t allowed a homer since April 12 (only his third of the season, which ain’t bad for an extreme flyball pitcher. He gets a ton of weak popups and shallow flyouts. Also he has the best K/9 rate of the relievers). A splitter didn’t spllit on an 0-2 count.

        As for nibbling, he was known for that in previous seasons, yes. Also for being a human rain-delay, pacing around the mound before every pitch, etcc.. He’s cleaned that up a lot, and in his previous outings he threw 11, 10, 10, 7 pitches (only 13 this time), and he hasn’t had those epic 35-pitch, endless foul-ball battles since, since never this season (max 28 pitches on June 28).

        In 25 of his 58 appearances he’s gotten three outs in 15 or few pitches. He’s added the splitter, which can be devastating, and he sometimes get the curve to work (when he doesn’t, you have adventures like at the All-Star game, but he rarely throws it with runners on base).

      • natstowngreg - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        Yes, we enjoy the wins. Especially, those of the walk-off variety. It is like 2012, and the last two months of 2013.

        However, as Matt noted in the post-game presser, the game is done, and the team has to shift focus to the next game. With 6 weeks left in the regular season, the Nats have clinched nothing. As fans of a team that appears headed to the playoffs, it’s fair for us to note things that could affect its chances of avoiding an epic fail and missing the playoffs. And, advancing through the playoffs.

        The bullpen is one of those things. In 20-20 hindsight, we can say that its excellent performance in the first half was unsustainable. But those games have been played. What matters is the performance to come. No reason to panic, to be sure, but recent performance gives one pause.

  2. teejayss - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Nats>Your Team

  3. philipharmonic - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    there was a whole 21,292 in attendance to witness this game. only White sox had worse attendance yesterday (granted, there were only 8 games played on the Monday). This town is pathetic with its lackluster support of a good team. If the Phillies had a 6 game lead in the division, you bet the games would be on everywhere you go. I went to a sandwich shop on sunday on 14th st. No game. terrible. I would say “move ’em back to montreal” but I enjoy going to the games (and because the attendance isn’t good, getting good prices for seats)

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