The 2012 MLB playoffs have finally arrived in Washington D.C. Sure Thursday afternoon’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals was game four of the series. However, the postseason did not arrive until Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth hit a bottom of the ninth walk off home run to beat the Cardinals 2-1.
Werth battled St. Louis reliever Lance Lynn to a full count on 12 pitches before hitting a line drive over the left field fence. It sent the record Nationals Park crowd of 44,000 into a frenzy and officially announced that postseason baseball has arrived in D.C.
After suffering defeats of 12-4 and 8-0 in games two and three there was no reason to believe that Washington could win game four. They were sending their fourth starter Ross Detwiler to the mound to face Cardinal ace Kyle Lohse. St. Louis was in the driver’s seat and both teams knew it.
However, the great thing about sports is that every game starts out tied at zero. The Nationals did not need to make up any runs from Monday and Wednesday’s losses. All they had to do was score one more run than the Cardinals today. It took them a while, but they did it.
Washington lost games two and three, because the Cardinals jumped on them early and they didn’t hit. It was up to Detwiler to keep the Nationals in the game and give them a chance to win it late. He did just that going six innings and giving up one unearned run in the third.
Washington jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Adam LaRoche led off the second with a solo home run. It may not have kick started the offense, but did give the Nationals reason to exhale. Runs have been hard to come by in this series for Washington so any lead is reason for optimism.
After Detwiler left Jordan Zimmerman took the mound for the seventh. Zimmerman started game two, but with the season on the line manager Davey Johnson decided to use him in relief.
Zimmerman struck out the side. Tyler Clippard followed in the eighth and did the same. Drew Storen pitched the ninth. He struck out the first two batters then walked Pete Kozma. Storen then proceeded to get Matt Carpenter to hit a pop up which shortstop Ian Desmond caught for the final out.
Then Werth led off the ninth with his blast and everyone danced.
The Nationals were in survival mode going into game four. Thanks to solid pitching and two big blasts by veterans with post season experience they will live to fight another day.
The 2012 MLB playoffs have arrived in Washington D.C. and not a moment too soon.