The Washington Times - August 21, 2011, 08:03PM

Baseball is full of quirky stats and eccentricities. Winning on a walk-off hit by pitch, the Nationals turned in some impressive history Sunday by doing just that.

According to the respected site Baseball-Reference, it was the first time in Nationals history (since the Expos moved to the District) that this team has won a game with a walk-off HBP.


With a 1-0 count and the bases loaded in the 10th, Phillies reliever Brad Lidge missed on a slider and just nicked Jonny Gomes. It wasn’t by design.

“I don’t know if it slipped out of his hands or what. But I definitely didn’t roll into it by any means,” Gomes said. “Getting hit was last on my to-do list that at bat, but it worked out.”

Another big crowd

Sunday’s crowd of 41,727 fans was the third biggest in the history of Nationals Park. Saturday’s game set a new record with 44,685. With Phillies fans taking up a majority of what some were calling “Citizens Bank Park South,” it was almost as if the visiting team tied the score when Ian Desmond homered in the ninth.

For what it’s worth, the second-largest crowd in park history came June 25, 2009 against the Red Sox (41,985).

Bullpen rolling

Drew Storen experienced a hiccup in the top of the ninth Sunday, allowing a walk and a couple of hits that wound up giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead. But Desmond’s homer bailed him out.

Other than Storen, the bullpen continued a remarkable stretch, with Tom Gorzelanny, Todd Coffey, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett combining to allow just one hit in 3 1/3 innings.

Manager Davey Johnson said it was a product of those guys knowing their roles better than earlier in the season.

“I feel like they’re setting in, and they’re getting to know how I’m going to use them and the way I’d like to use them properly,” Johnson said. “And I think they only get better from that.