Craig Stammen and Wilson Ramos celebrate the end of a wild victory.
The scene underneath the third-base stands at Great American Ball Park late Saturday afternoon could have been one of dismay, of soul-searching, perhaps even underlying panic. The Nationals, fresh off a record-setting, 15-0 thumping at the hands of the Reds, had just blown a 5-1 lead late and were on the verge of dropping their second straight game in demoralizing fashion.
But the moment Craig Stammen got Jay Bruce to whiff at a curveball with the tying run on second base in the bottom of the 11th inning of a wild afternoon on the banks of the Ohio River, none of that mattered. Inside the clubhouse minutes later, the music blared, everybody was in a joyous mood and whatever blemishes there were during this 7-6 victory seemed insignificant in the bigger picture.
What if the Nationals had lost?
"I don't even want to think about that," right fielder Jayson Werth said. "Obviously, it would be drastically different. What I liked about the game is we continued to fight."