Dusty Baker was shocked when he asked around about the Washington Nationals back in the Winter/Spring of 2015-16 and learned that Ryan Zimmerman had hit ten career walk-off home runs.
“My friend told me -- which I couldn't believe -- he said [Zimmerman] had ten walk-off home runs,” Baker recalled.
He didn't believe his friend.
"I went over to ask [Zimmerman] in Spring Training, I said, 'C'mon man, is that real?' And he said, he told me, 'Yeah.' And I was like, well, I was thinking walk-off the other day and every time he goes up there I'm thinking walk-off."
Zimmerman’s first walk-off home run came back in 2006, his second year in the majors and the first full season after he was drafted with the Nationals’ first first-round pick in 2005, when he took future Nats teammate Chien-Ming Wang deep to end a matchup with the New York Yankees in RFK.
Zimmerman hit one out against the Braves to end the first-ever game in Nationals Park in 2008 too.
Drafted by the Nationals with the No. 1 pick of the 2010 Draft, Bryce Harper hit his first walk-off in the majors in 2014, and he’s hit three since, for four total [checks math], including the 3-run home run he hit to beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
Jayson Werth hit two walk-off blasts when he was with the Phillies...
[ed. note - “One of them off the Nationals’ Drew Storen the season before Werth signed in D.C. Storen did brush Werth back with the first pitch of live BP in their first Spring together, you’ll remember.”]
... and he’s hit one regular season walk-off home run with the Nationals, off the St. Louis Cards’ Kyle Lohse, back in 2016.
Oh yeah, and Werth did also hit the biggest walk-off home run in team history [2005-present], keeping the Nationals’ 2012 season alive with his walk-off winner in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Cardinals. Remember that one?
And that’s just talking walk-off home runs in recent D.C. baseball history... and only the ones we can think of hit by players still on the team. There have been more, of course.
And what about that stretch in 2014, when the Nationals walked off five times in six games as part of a crazy ten-game win-streak. [ed. note - “Ahem, Matt Williams.”]
Daniel Murphy still hasn’t hit a walk-off home run in his career, which is hard to believe.
Just this weekend, however, he hit a walk-off double to drive Bryce Harper in to beat the Phillies in extra innings, and he did it on his own bobblehead night in Nats Park
Asked about that fact, the Nationals’ second baseman was humble as usual.
“Oh, dear. Team effort, team effort right there,” Murphy told MASN’s Dan Kolko, before running down the list of everyone on the team who contributed to the win.
They’re all residents of [ed. note - “Not like, literally, I don’t know where they live.”] and heroes in
Washington Walk-off, D.C.
Wear your pride in the Washington Nationals’ walk-off history on your t-shirt...
Pitch via Breaking T: “Blow out games can be fun but there is no more dramatic way to win a game than with a walk-off. The season just started but the Washington Nationals sure know how to send their fans home happy with big hits coming from Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Daniel Murphy, and Ryan Zimmerman. Let this visiting team know that they just entered ‘Walk-off DC’ when they come to town.”