Washington Nationals Win 7-4 On Danny Espinosa's 10th Inning Walk-Off. Nats Sweeps St. Louis Cardinals, Win Sixth Straight.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Danny Espinosa #18 of the Washington Nationals rounds the bases after hitting the game winning three run home run in the tenth inning against Fernando Salas #59 of the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on June 16, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won the game 7-4. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• Tonight's Top 5: 

5. FULL MOON: Jayson Werth homered for the first time since May 20th in Baltimore late in last night's game and he starts the Nats' first tonight with more of the same. 1-2 sinker from Cards' starter Kyle Lohse and the suddenly-hot right fielder crushes it. No doubter into the Red Porch seats in left-center. 1-0 Nationals on Werth's 10th, and the Nats, who hadn't hit back-to-back HR's this season before Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa did it the other night, do it again. Roger Bernadina fouls off a curve on a bunt attempt and then unloads on an 0-1 sinker. Fly ball to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard into the seats. 2-0 Nationals on Bernadina's second of the year. Two HR's in the first after a quick 8-pitch top of the frame by John Lannan. The Nationals' lefty throws a 2-2 slider to the leadoff batter, Matt Holliday, in the second, and the St. Louis' slugger cuts the lead in half with one swing. 2-1 Nationals after an inning and a half...

4. Who are the Expos? Courtesy of the Nationals' PR Department: Last time two players hit back-to-back HR's to start a game in franchise history was June 16th, 2002, when Brad Wilkerson and Jose Vidro hit two in a row off Toronto Blue Jays' starter Steve Parris. 

3. No Leadoff Walks, PLZ: John Lannan's in trouble quickly in the Cards' fourth. A leadoff walk to Albert Pujols is followed by a single to right by Matt Holliday. Back-to-back groundouts from Lance Berkman and Yadier Molina and the leadoff walks costs Lannan the lead. Molina's groundout score Pujols from third, 2-2 game after the top of the fourth. One out into the Nationals' half, Michael Morse drives a 3-1 fastball to right-center and off the out-of-town scoreboard. 12th double of the year for Morse. Danny Espinosa connects with an 0-1 curve from Lohse for a single through the right side of the infield that scores Morse from second, 3-2 Nats after four. Lannan gives up a one-out single to the opposing pitcher in the Cardinals' fifth, but he starts a 1-4-3 DP on a grounder to the mound in the next AB and he's through four and a half with a 3-2 lead and eleven groundouts from the St. Louis' batters. 

2. MOAR Grounderz: Albert Pujols is 2 for 3 tonight after he singles with one down in the Cards' sixth. Matt Holliday, who's 2 for 2 with a HR and a single is up again, with a runner on, but the 12th groundout of the game for Nats' lefty John Lannan starts a 4-6-3 inning ending DP... Laynce Nix, who struck out swinging at a change from Lohse last time up, takes another offspeed pitch for a called strike on the first offering he sees from the Cards' starter in the bottom of the sixth. Lohse tries to fool him with another one and Nix jumps all over it. Nix's 10th HR of 2011 goes out to right, over the out-of-town scoreboard. 4-2 Nationals after six innings in Nats Park. Lohse ends the sixth at 101 pitches. Lannan starts the seventh at 67.

1. Clipp'd: The Cardinals' collect one and two-out singles in the seventh. Two on, two out, and Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman sticks with his starter who gets a his fourteenth groundout of the night to end the seventh. Still 4-2 Nats. Lannan's through seven on 86 pitches, 56 strikes, and done there, replaced by Tyler Clippard in the top of the eighth. Lannan's line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's, 1 HR, 86 pitches, 56 strikes, 14 groundouts, 1 flyout. Clippard retires the first two batters he faces then gives up a solo HR to left by Albert Pujols that clears the wall and lands in the Cards' bullpen. 4-3 Nats. Two-out walk to Matt Holliday, and there's a runner on for Lance Berkman. Clippard gets behind 2-0 but battles back to strike the veteran left-hander out with a 93 mph fastball upstairs!!

1. STOREN WARNING!!!: The Washington Nationals fail to add to their lead in the eight, so it will be up to the Nats' flat-brimmed closer Drew Storen to shut the Cards down in the ninth. 16 saves on the year for Storen so far. Yadier Molina starts the 9th with a solo HR. Blown save. Storen's second BS. Tied at 4-4. Drew Storen blows the save, and when Danny Espinosa throws wide of first on a grounder to second by Mark Hamilton, the Washington Nationals' streak of 131.0 errorless innings ends. 13 games without an E, but the Nats still have a chance for a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth. Fernando Salas takes over on the mound for St. Louis. He should have two outs, but Alberto Pujols misplays a grounder to third by Ian Desmond. Runner on for Jayson Werth. Fly to center, just missed. Roger Bernadina K's swinging. 

0. FREE BASEBALL!!: Ryan Zimmerman's down 1-2 in the Nats' 10th after Sean Burnett battles through the top of the frame and the middle of the Cards' order. The Nats' FOF singles back up the middle to start the Nats' 10th. Laynce Nix K's swinging, and it's Michael Morse up with one on and one out. Morse gets hit. HBP. Two on, one out for Danny Espinosa. Fernando Salas throws a 2-1 change over the middle of the plate and Espinosa launches it! He know it's gone, all of Nats Park knows!! Walk-off three-run HR to right! Six straight wins for the Nats. Espinosa's 12th HR of 2011. The-uh-uh NATIONALS WIN! and sweep the St. Louis Cardinals out of Nats Park!!

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

Num Name - Comments
1 dc Roach - 211
2 d_c_guy - 80
3 cat daddy3000 - 60
4 bluelineswinger - 54
5 MissB - 54
6 G8RB8 - 38
7 The Herndon Kid - 30
8 IAPiratesFan - 18
9 Joey Fox - 15
10 Jeff T - 15

 

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 69: Lannan robbed again. Also, SWEEEEEEEP!":

20110616_cardinals_nationals_0_20110616211249_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com

  • Gatorade shower recipient: Danny Espinosa (+40.5%) is 3-5 with a 10th-inning, 3-run, walkoff bomb in true h3r0 fashion (+20.7%)--after having hit a go-ahead RBI single in the 4th (+12.7%).
  • He even had run support! John Lannan (+11.4%) allows on 2 ER over 7 innings... for a no-decision.
  • Vulture? ur doin it rong: Drew Storen (-21.2%) gives up a game-tying solo shot (-34.4%) to send the game to extras.
  • Don't call it a comeback: Sean Burnett (+13.2%) walks one and strikes out one to keep the game tied in the 10th.
  • MOAR D1NG3RZ!! Jayson Werth (+9.6%) leads off the first with solo shot (+10.3%), and Roger Bernadina (-1.7%) goes back-to-back with his own (+9.1%).  Laynce Nix (+6.4%) adds not-quite-enough insurance with a third solo shot in the 6th (+19.0%).

What do these graphs mean?

Nationals now 33-36.

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