Norris Pinch Hit In Ninth Sends Nats To 6-5 Win

Norris smacks a walkoff to the warning track

Going into the bottom of the ninth, there was a good chance that a top prospect might end the game with a walkoff. After all, Bryce Harper was the third batter due. An error and a sacrifice, brought up the chosen one with a runner on third and one out. Three pitches later he was walking down the line, courtesy of an 0-2 fastball to the right tricep.

Alberto Gonzalez would be intentionally walked when he wouldn’t bite on the first two offerings. After the two managers changed the matchup, up came Derek Norris, who took a strike then blasted the next pitch to the warning track for a very long game-winning single and a 6-5 Nats win.

The knock made a winner out of Yunesky Maya, who pitched the final four innings, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and three walks. He also struck out three, the last coming on nice, sharp curve.

According to multiple tweets from the beat writers, Washington announced that Harper had been sent to minor-league camp, officially optioned to Hagerstown. That, of course, does not necessarily mean that that’s where he’ll start the regular season. Also sent down were Atahualpa Severino, Tim Wood and Ryan Mattheus.

Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos started the game at their usual positions, but both went hitless in three at-bats. Espinosa helped turn a double play while Ramos did not have any baserunners attempt a steal against him.

Chris Marrero drove the ball to the wall the opposite way (the first I’ve seen in a very long time) in his sole plate appearance for a double, the wind aiding it but not causing it. He was then pinch-run for by Destin Hood, who chased down a long foul fly to left to end the top of the ninth.

With the win, the Nats improve to 9-5 for the spring and return to Jupiter to face the Florida Marlins tomorrow afternoon. The game will be televised via and can be heard on MLB Gameday and XM Radio.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

4 thoughts on “Norris Pinch Hit In Ninth Sends Nats To 6-5 Win”

  1. going back home tomorrow guys and dolls if you get a chance to come down to support our beloved nats in Viera do it. Great experience and great education for guys like me. Make sure you go watch the practice fields to see how these guys do drills and work their tails off. I am very proud to be a nats fan , and have a reason to be positive for the future. Chris Marrero looks great , along Espinosa,Maya,,hood ramos and others . will write in detail when I get back. I watched the pitchers get work in the back fields, and I am happy to report that I finally got to see Mel’s boy Manno pitch, I am now a believer, and certainly will become a Minion . He looked great

    1. Thanks for the heads up on Manno. Really looking forward to your report. Curious what your take was on Hood. I’m biased towards black ballplayers in DC as a black man living in the District who really sees how a visible star, possibly out of the RBI program, could help things like the academy the Nats are working on in DC take off.

      I’m also glad Chris Marrero made a big step in proving me wrong. I’ve been down on him after being jilted by so-so years the last two years. Seems like he and Norris are in much better shape this year, possibly because they can smell the big leagues now.

  2. Thanks, Elliot, look forward to your report. Glad to hear you’re now officially a Minnion; I’m sure Mel will be reporting also.
    I’m sure there will be some “I told you so’s” on this, but the Red Sox just voided Jason Bergman contract because of shoulder issues, which were apparently worse than they thought.

  3. Guessing now Bryce’s initial roadmap has been cleared for Hagerstown that PNats will start single game ticket sales.

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