The start of Friday night's game was delayed for thirty-five minutes by rain in the nation's capital. It started at 6:40 PM instead 6:05 and ended at 11:10 PM, fourteen innings, four hours and thirty minutes later when Ben Revere hit a walk-off double to right field to bring Danny Espinosa in from second and lift the Washington Nationals to a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
It was the first walk-off winner of Revere's seven-year career. He wasn't sure what to expect. He definitely did not expect that Max Scherzer would pick him up and carry him around while teammates celebrated.
"I haven’t hit a walk-off in the big leagues. I didn’t know what was going to happen," Revere told reporters, including CSN Mid-Atlantic's Chase Hughes. "I could probably see [that] happening, someone picking me up like a little child."
The win was the Nationals' sixth straight overall and their fifth straight on the current ten-game homestand.
The win streak, coming as it has after a rough ten-game, three-city road trip on which they lost seven in a row, has helped to turn things around for the current NL East division leaders.
"It's a big emotional swing," Dusty Baker told reporters after the win. "Lost seven in a row and turn around and win six in a row. Boy this is a funny game."
It was a positive development for Revere, who went 3 for 7 on the night after a .274/.326/.286 month of June in which the 28-year-old outfielder, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays this winter, began to perform like the player the Nats thought they were getting when they shipped Drew Storen to the Jays.
Baker said Revere coming through with the game-winning hit was important, and not just because it gave the Nationals another curly-W.
"It means a lot, because you don't feel that you're contributing," Baker explained, referring to Revere's struggles upon coming off the DL in May after oblique strain on Opening Day shut the outfielder down for a month.
"Tonight was Ben's night. He contributed big-time. When you get a game-winning walk-off hit like he did, that's huge for your confidence and for everybody else's confidence. Especially when you win close games, one-run games and when you win extra-inning games."
The double was Revere's fourth on the year in 203 plate appearances, and it was a well-struck ball that bounced off the out-of-town scoreboard in right, deep enough to allow Espinosa to score.
"I saw the ball go up and i saw how the outfielders were converging on that and I knew it had a chance to be high off the wall," Baker said.
"Boy, that was right on time, because he had been stinging some balls all night and nothing to show for it. Man, we needed it, [Yusmeiro] Petit needed it, the fans needed it. Everybody needed it. Boy that was a long one."
"When you play that long, you might as well win. It's a big downer when you lose a game like that. We had some opportunities, just we finally got the hit that we needed."