You could almost hear the sizzle of doubt at Nationals Park last night: uber sub Jerry Hairston was being shipped to Milwaukee, Jason Marquis was considering boarding the red eye for Arizona, Roger Bernadina and Drew Storen were wondering whether they should make plans to rent an apartment in Minnesota and (worst of all), Yunesky Maya was preparing to take the mound for the slumping Washington Nationals. So there it was: a loss for sure.
But just hours later, Maya was celebrating his best outing of the year (and preparing for a stint on the disabled list — or in the minors), Davey Johnson was going on about “a very good ballgame,” Jayson Werth was being interviewed as “the player of the game” on MASN — and Roger Bernadina and Drew Storen were still plying their trade for the Washington franchise.
The short story is that Jayson Werth won the Nationals’ tilt against the New York Metropolitans with an attitude-lifting three-run first inning homer (it was all the Nationals would need in their 3-0 win), Maya pitched effectively through 5.1 innings and closer phenom Drew Storen registered his 26th save. It was hard to determine who was more happy: Werth or Maya.
“I’m tired of saying I’m close, but I’m working in the right direction,” Werth said following the victory. “I know why, I guess — it’s just a matter of having the right swing during the game.” Like Werth, Maya was in a sort of a rehab — spending most of the season trying to command his fastball and pick up his in-game pitching pace. On Saturday, all of that worked well: he threw 78 pitches, 52 of them for strikes.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Wilson Ramos went 3-3 in last night’s 3-0 win, proof positive that he remains amongst the Nationals’ most streaky hitters. He’s 5 for 6 over his last two games, which follows a stint in which he went 1 for 24. The Twins must have “traders” remorse. We read somewhere that Ramos’ name has been mentioned as one of the players the Twins would like to get in any trade for Denard Span. That would be a “no” . . .