Today is May 5th, 2009 and two years ago the Nats won one of the most interesting games in their history... technically...
Nats fans remember this game for many reasons, not the least of which being the Nats won a high scoring, extra inning home game against the Houston Astros. What most people remember is how the game went down. Let's go to the videotape!
The Nationals, backed by a crowd at Nationals Park, took a 10-9 lead into the 9th inning and Garrett Mock came in for the save(!). Mock did his best Garrett Mock impression and blew the save, sending the game to extra innings with the score tied at 10.
The 10th inning went by without a hitch, and Joel Hanrahan threw a typical Hanrahan top of the 11th (3 hits, walk, no runs). It was time for the Nats to win an extra innings ballgame in front of the 19,000+ fans at Nationals park. They were well on their way to the win when Elijah Dukes walked after an Austin Kearns strikeout (some things never change).
Then the rains came...
The Umpires made the decision to postpone the game - but since the Astros weren't coming back to Nats Park that season, the game would have to be finished at Enron Field.. Uhh, Minute Maid Park.
Flash Forward to July 9th in Houston. The game was to be resumed before their next series began, with the Nationals finishing a home game while wearing their Road unis...
7 minutes later the Nats had an 11-10 extra inning home victory... in Houston - the run scored by a player that had a hit for the Pirates the same day (May 5th). Time to bullet point some of the more fun stats from that day.
- Elijah Dukes walked on May 5th in the 11th, but when the game resumed on July 9th he was in the minor leagues.
- Nyjer Morgan, acquired by the Nats just a week earlier, scored the winning run for the Nats on May 5th when he was playing for the Pirates.
- The winning pitcher for the Nats was Joel Hanrahan, who won the game despite playing for a different team (Pirates) when the game was finally won. He was taking a nap when he won the game.
- If I recall correctly, between the rain suspension and the resumption the Nats celebrated their 100th Home Game at Nats Park. At the time they didn't know what the highest scoring game in park history was, because it wasn't yet finished.
- Ryan Zimmerman was in the middle of his 30-game hit streak and, after having gotten a hit earlier in the game, the game didn't "officially" count until it was completed in July.
- The Nats used 8 players on May 5th that weren't with the team on July 9th - and no, I'm not going to figure out which ones.
- The Astros became the first team in over 30 years to lose a walk-off in their home ball-park.
- Hanrahan was discussing how he was going to win the Nats game with current-National, then-Pirate Adam LaRoche in July.
Here is what a few writers had to say about it:
- Bill Ladson
- Chico Harlan (Remember him?)
- Jayson Stark
So, when watching the Nats take on Roy Halladay tonight, take a drink to celebrate all of baseball's little quirks.