Matt Wieters signed a 1-year/$10.5M free agent deal with the Washington Nationals this Spring, after eight seasons playing for the Baltimore Orioles, who drafted him 5th overall in the first round of the 2007 Draft.
Last night, in the nation’s capital, the 30-year-old catcher stepped up to the plate in the ninth and hit a bases-loaded, walk-off single off Orioles’ closer Brad Brach to lift the Nationals to an improbable 7-6 win over his former employer.
“Wieters came through with a big hit and so our guys are pretty excited,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the Nats snapped a three-game slide.
“That was probably the best win of the year for us. Tonight we got a big game, tomorrow again.”
Orioles’ skipper Buck Showalter took it in stride, joking when MASN’s Gary Thorne said it was “great theater” and deadpanning, “I didn’t consider it great theater tonight.”
“Life’s too short,” Showalter added after coming within two outs of three straight wins over Washington. “Matt’s a good man. I hope they get some Interleague games against people that we’re competing against.”
With the hit, Wieters improved to 5 for 13 against his old team in his first taste of the D.C. side of the Battle of the Beltways, connecting for his second hit of the series off of Brach, a closer he knows well, having spent 86 innings working together with the O’s.
“Just trying to get something up,” Wieters told MASN’s Dan Kolko on the field after the game. “I was able to get a fastball the other day on him, so just wanted to make sure I got his changeup up, because he’s got a really good changeup. It’s a win we needed. We kind of beat ourselves the first couple games and tonight to be able to come back and win like that, it’s big for us.”
Wieters’ walk-off hit got the Topps NOW treatment on a card that was released this afternoon...
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