A 33-year-old pitcher who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 gave the Nationals four solid innings and a 32-year-old rookie outfielder hit a walk-off winner to beat the Phillies in the nation’s capital with his first MLB bomb.
So what did Davey Martinez think of Paolo Espino and Yadiel Hernandez’s contributions to last night’s win?
“It’s huge,” the third-year skipper said. “These guys get an opportunity — Espino has done it before, he’s in the big leagues, gets the chance to come back up here, and keeps us in the ballgame.
“That’s huge, but that’s a testament to what he’s gone through, how he worked to get back here. I said it before the game, this guy was down in Fredericksburg, he worked his butt off, and he deserved an opportunity to come up here and pitch and he did really well. So that was awesome to see.”
And Hernandez’s blast?
“Awesome. I mean, what can I say? Big home run right there, his first one of his career. It was outstanding.”
Finale at 6:05 PM ET.
Go read your links...
IT'S. YADIEL. BAT. FLIPPING. SEASON. pic.twitter.com/WW5PSI4O3g— Blake Finney (@FinneyBlake) September 23, 2020
Nationals' joy is Phillies' misery to start final week of regular season - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The bottom of the eight -- also known as extra innings in 2020 -- began with Luis García on second base and Eric Thames at the plate. Thames struck out. Up came Yadiel Hernández."
1st HR a walk-off for Nats' 32-year-old rookie - (MLB.com)
"On a team that wouldn’t quit, it was a 32-year-old rookie who wouldn’t either."
Hernández's first career homer keeps the Nats alive - (MASN)
"When he was sent down Friday, hitless in seven at-bats, Yadiel Hernández couldn’t help but wonder if he had just blown his first and only chance in the big leagues."
Voth's 1st win a CG as Nats top Philly in G1 - (MLB.com)
"'It was huge,' Voth said of the complete game. 'I’ve never been able to do that. I feel like I’ve been chasing that for a while. … I’m ecstatic.'"
Voth throws complete game for first win of season - (MASN)
"Voth struck out a season-high seven batters and pitched a season-best seven innings, working his fastball with a dipping curveball and a slowdown changeup to keep the Phillies off guard."
Austin Voth pitches Nationals past Phillies - (WaPost)
“Austin Voth pitches a complete game in the opener and Yadiel Hernández hits a walk-off homer in the nightcap as the Nationals finally show some fight.”
MLB likely to use 2020 standings to determine 2021 draft order, per report - (CBSSports.com)
"For teams that had good to great 2019s but poor 2020s, like the Red Sox and Nationals, that could be the difference between a very high 2021 first-round pick or a middle of the pack 2021 first-round pick."
NL EAST UPDATES:
John Kruk sounds off on lifeless Phillies: 'What we're watching now is closer to Little League' - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Never one to mince words, Phillies analyst John Kruk sounded off on the team after its second straight sloppy 5-1 loss to the Nationals in what was a must-win series."
Pete Alonso vs. Dominic Smith: Evaluators on big Mets question - (NY Post)
"Pete Alonso or Dominic Smith. Who you got? The Mets can and probably will keep both, especially if the NL goes to a designated hitter permanently or the Mets willingly continue to have dubious defense by shoehorning Smith in left field."
Starling Marte showing clutch gene during Marlins’ 2020 playoff push - (Fish Stripes)
"Among Marlins hitters, Marte ranks fourth in runs batted in with runners in scoring position throughout September (7)."
The new streak continues: Braves win third consecutive NL East title - (AJC.com)
"However many games the season was, under whatever unprecedented circumstances, the Braves have their third consecutive National League East title."