Don't read, just watch. pic.twitter.com/RFFlRmjThb
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 21, 2017
As good as the Washington Nationals have been thus far — first place in the NL East — the have blown late-game leads in large thanks to its disastrous bullpen. On Sunday they were clinging to a 3-2 lead over the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning after another quality start by Stephen Strasburg.
Braves’ Matt Kemp led off the inning with a single on closer Koda Glover. Newly acquired Matt Adams ripped a liner that was headed down the first base line. However, the Nationals’ legend Ryan Zimmerman pulled off a miraculous grab, getting his glove up in the nick of time to snag the rocketing ball before doubling up Kemp at first for the double play.
Zimmerman, who is having a resurgence at the plate hitting .362/.406/.724 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs, showed he can still flash the leather as well. Had the ball gotten through Zimmerman it was no doubt going to be an extra base hit, at the least enough to get Kemp to third with no outs. Instead Zimmerman’s heads-up play emptied the bags and placed the Nats one out from victory.
Glover got Kurt Suzuki to pop out for the final out, avoiding the three-game sweep at the hands of the Braves. The win also snapped the Nationals’ four-game losing streak. Washington now has a sizable seven-game lead through the first month and a half of the season.