Randy Knorr was managing during Thursday afternoon's walk-off win since Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson had been ejected. Pittsburgh tied the game up at 7-7 with a four-run top of the ninth, but a half-inning later, with Pirates' reliever Bryan Morris on the mound, Kurt Suzuki singled and was forced out at second, but Roger Bernadina avoided the double play and scored the winning run on Bryce Harper's first career walk-off home run.
"That was huge," Knorr told reporters after the win, "Harper was great. I mean, [Morris] is a pretty good pitcher out there and 'Zuki gets the base hit, Bernie beats out the double play ball and Harper gets a good pitch to hit. And that's what we need right now. There's been a lot excitement, ups and downs, but we get high and then we get low really fast, and I think this is big for us."
After the game, Dave Nichols from the District Sports Page and I talked about the Nats' big win:
District Sports Page: "Harper's swing here, his first home run since his [first at bat upon] returning from the Disabled List was just a huge hit for the Nats. You could see them all gathering at home plate ready to welcome him home and celebrate the win there. It's just got to be a huge lift after a game that seemed like it was in hand and then they gave it away. You think, 'What else can happen to us?' and then Harper walks it off, it's just very exciting for the Nats. It halts the six-game losing streak and while they still have an awful lot of work to do to get relevant again in the NL East, at least for right now they've got to be feeling good in the clubhouse."
Federal Baseball: "Harper had the day off yesterday to rest the knee. There was a little talk about how he was icing it. [Mike] Rizzo said that's kind of a regular things for him after the game now since he suffered the injury. Comes back today and makes a diving catch on the first play of the game, kind of really set the tone. Goes 3 for 5 on the night including that big home run. And really, if they're going to make any sort of run here, if we're not already counting them out, Bryce Harper's going to have to put together the kind of second-half he had last year."
District Sports Page: "I absolutely agree. And I don't think it was coincidental that Harper's day off to rest his knee yesterday, came against a tough left-hander, Francisco Liriano, a guy that absolutely tears up left-handers."
Listen to the entire Nats Nightly episode:
• We also did an interview about this weekend's four-game series with the Mets with Gary McDonald from Mets Musings. You can listen to the interview HERE. (Our interview starts around the 16 minute mark).