WASHINGTON — The D.C. pro sports games that mattered most ended in disappointment on Wednesday night, with the Washington Capitals eliminated from the NHL playoffs and the Washington Wizards pushed to the brink in the NBA.
But in true D.C. sports fashion, there was still reason to believe that anything was possible at the end of the night, as the Washington Nationals completed a dramatic comeback against the Baltimore Orioles. And for poetic justice, the walk-off hit was delivered by former Orioles catcher Matt Wieters against his former batterymate.
The bottom of the ninth inning began with the Nats trailing 6-4 and Jayson Werth at the plate. He did his part:
In succession, Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon reached base, bringing Wieters to the plate. On the first pitch, Wieters did not miss:
“It’s a game we needed.” Wieters told MASN’s Dan Kolko after the game, before getting a Gatorade bath from Anthony Rendon. Even though it was only game 34 of the regular season, there was a sense that the Nationals were treating this series as a gut check.
“It takes a bit emotional toll,” said manager Dusty Baker after the 12-inning loss on Tuesday. “One of the biggest downers in baseball is when you blow a game late.”
On Wednesday night, the Nats got to enjoy the flipside of that scenario, coming back after trailing 5-1. Now, after a disheartening start to the series, the Nationals have a chance to earn a series split with a win on Thursday.