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Wilmer Difo wins it for Nationals with walk-off single in the ninth; 5-4 over the Phillies...

Like we’ve been saying for a while now, “Everybody ❤️s Wilmer Difo!” Difo won it for the Nationals with a walk-off single to beat the Phillies, 5-4, in today’s series finale.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into today’s series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals’ spark plug Wilmer Difo had reached base safely in 13 of his last 19 plate appearances over the last five games, posting a .684 OBP over that stretch.

Difo, 26, had an eight-game hitting streak going, and he was 12 for 22 (.545/.643/.909) with two doubles, two home runs, six walks, and three Ks during the streak.

“Love having him around,” Davey Martinez told reporters before the third of three with the Phillies.

“He gets guys pumped up every day. Yesterday he hits the home run, and the whole dugout is jumping up and down. I tell you, every time he hits one he thinks he’s setting a milestone, maybe for him, but he’s that guy, and when he gets on base, typically good things happen, so I love watching him play, I really do, and he brings that energy every single day.”

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Difo, who has started in 23 of 32 games played, with a .287/.388/.414 line, five doubles, two home runs, 15 walks, and 19 Ks in 104 plate appearances before today, said he’s done what he can when given opportunities.

“I keep working hard as I always have been doing,” he said through a translator. “I personally don’t have any control over the lineup itself, I’ve just got to be ready when I’m asked to play, whether it’s twice a week, three times a week, I have no control over that.

“Obviously we want to the team to be healthy, and the full lineup out there, and have myself contribute any way I can. And that’s all I can control, and that’s what I want to do, is help out any way I can. Keep my same work ethic.”

He was 0 for 2 with a walk on the day after getting on base with one out in the eighth, and he scored on a two-run single by Anthony Rendon that made it a 4-3 in the Phillies’ favor, then he got another at bat in the ninth, stepping in with the bases loaded and no one out in a 4-4 game and singling to center on a 1-0 pitch for a walk-off winner.

Matt Wieters singled to start the ninth-inning rally, beating out a grounder to second, and his pinch runner, Rafael Bautista, took third base on an errant pick attempt.

Howie Kendrick reached via hit-by-pitch. Michael A. Taylor walked to load the bases, and Pedro Severino walked to force in the tying run before Difo stepped in and won it with his single, 5-4.

“I’ve said it from Spring Training and I’ll say it every day, it’s the little things,” Martinez said when asked about Wieters and Bautista hustling to set things up.

“Matty hustled to get a base hit. Bautista goes in there and caused him to throw the ball away, goes to third base. The little things matter, you know. Difo, huge hit at the end there, staying in the middle of the field, not trying to do too much. He knew what he had to do and we were able to come back and win the game. Big game.”

Is the way Difo has been playing going to make for some tough decisions once everyone is back and healthy?

“He’s playing right now, so there’s no decisions. He’s in there,” Martinez said.

Hitting ninth in front of Harper leading off has helped too, the first-year skipper explained.

“Absolutely,” Martinez said.

“And this is a conversation that we had... I had with him. ‘Get on base, you’re going to get pitches to hit, you’re going to get fastballs, but hey, be patient, take your walks, but you’re going to get pitches to hit, be ready to hit.’ And he’s been outstanding.”