Stephen Drew, who was dealing with flu-like symptoms, hadn't appeared in a game since last Sunday afternoon before he stepped to the plate last night in the bottom of the ninth inning and hit a walk-off triple to beat the San Diego Padres.
Drew, 33, improved to 8 for 26 (.308/.357/.654) with four doubles, a triple and a home run in his last 11 games, five of them starts, in July.
On the year, the veteran of 11 major league seasons has a .262/.319/.563 line with eight doubles, the triple and seven home runs in his first year in D.C. after signing a 1-year/$3M deal this winter.
He talked after the game about how he and his teammates fought to get the 3-2 win over the visiting Padres and how he connected on the game-winning hit.
"I'm just tying to put a good A-swing on it," Drew told MASN's Dan Kolko in a post game interview on the field.
"Got to 1-1, I swung at one I didn't want to. It's funny how it works sometimes. This team over here, we've been resilient and these guys kept pushing, we got back 2-2 and praise God we just got the win right there."
Drew was embraced by his teammates after the big hit and had closer Jonathan Papelbon up in his face on the field.
Apparently Papelbon has been trying to motivate him all along as Drew fought his way back from the flu-like symptoms he was dealing with all week.
"Pap kept joking, he said, 'Only the strong survive, the weak fall by the wayside,'" Drew told reporters in the Nationals' clubhouse after the win. "He just kept joking around. But I feel better, I do, it's been a rough go."
"It's been crazy," he said of the illness. "I don't want to say on TV, but it's been ugly. Anywhere from high fever to everything else, you name it."
"We don't know if it was a cold or not," Dusty Baker said. "All we know is that he was super-sick and he took another IV today, took one yesterday and one the day before and took all he had to hit that [triple] and then run to [third].
"It was right on time for us."
Drew's heroics and his walk-off winner earned him the Topps NOW treatment...
TOPPS NOW: "Topps NOW offers trading cards featuring MLB's best moments immediately after they occur. These special edition cards are only available for purchase within a 24-hour window after they launch on Topps.com, and Topps will print and deliver only the amount that is purchased within this time frame."