Jayson Werth’s walk-off HR keeps Nationals’ season alive

  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11), center, and his teammates celebrate as Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11), center, and his teammates celebrate as Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans celebrate as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans celebrate as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Fans battle for Jayson Werth's batting glove after the outfielder hit a solo walk off home run in the ninth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Fans battle for Jayson Werth's batting glove after the outfielder hit a solo walk off home run in the ninth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nats fans cheer as Drew Storen strikes out a Cardinal in the ninth inning of  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nats fans cheer as Drew Storen strikes out a Cardinal in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals players go nuts as right fielder Jayson Werth (28) rounds  with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals players go nuts as right fielder Jayson Werth (28) rounds with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A Nats fan shows the tension of a 1-1 tie game in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A Nats fan shows the tension of a 1-1 tie game in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals players disperse after meeting on the mound with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Cardinals players disperse after meeting on the mound with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A Nats fan is the face of the tension of a 1-1 extra inning game in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A Nats fan is the face of the tension of a 1-1 extra inning game in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Bryce Harper shows his disappointment at striking out in the bottom of the sixth inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Bryce Harper shows his disappointment at striking out in the bottom of the sixth inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Fans cheer as Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans cheer as Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) throws to first after missing a force play at second base in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) throws to first after missing a force play at second base in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) strikes out to end the fourth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) strikes out to end the fourth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A ball girl give a ball to a young fan in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A ball girl give a ball to a young fan in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) is congratulated by teammates after he scored from third base on a sacrifice fly by Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) is congratulated by teammates after he scored from third base on a sacrifice fly by Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) throws home too late on a sacrifice fly ball hit by Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) throws home too late on a sacrifice fly ball hit by Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) hits a sacrifice fly to center field which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) hits a sacrifice fly to center field which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) tags out Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) on a third inning sacrifice bunt during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) tags out Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) on a third inning sacrifice bunt during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Teddy Roosevelt racing president wins again during
Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Teddy Roosevelt racing president wins again during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Erik Sullivan and his son, Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., wave their rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Erik Sullivan and his son, Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., wave their rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Fans go wild as Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Fans go wild as Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., waves his rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., waves his rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Fans wave their rally towels as the Nationals take the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Fans wave their rally towels as the Nationals take the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) strikes out to end the bottom of the first inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) strikes out to end the bottom of the first inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) watches a solo home-run by Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) clear the wall in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) watches a solo home-run by Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) clear the wall in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals manager Davey Johnson greets former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch beforeGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals manager Davey Johnson greets former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch beforeGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals listen to the National Anthem before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals listen to the National Anthem before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) takes the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) takes the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Bryce Harper watches Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman fist bump teammates before the start of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Bryce Harper watches Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman fist bump teammates before the start of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans wave their Natitude rally towels as the players are introduced before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans wave their Natitude rally towels as the players are introduced before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34),  shortstop Ian Desmond (20) and first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) wait to take the field before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34), shortstop Ian Desmond (20) and first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) wait to take the field before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Aiden Bayne, 3, waves his rally towel as he arrives for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Aiden Bayne, 3, waves his rally towel as he arrives for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Cal Banasvewski [cq], 3, eats popcorn while waiting to watch his first ever Nationals game; Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Cal Banasvewski [cq], 3, eats popcorn while waiting to watch his first ever Nationals game; Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals warm up in the outfield before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals warm up in the outfield before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) heads to the locker room after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) heads to the locker room after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A fan holds up a poster as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A fan holds up a poster as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) dodges an errant ball to be walked in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) dodges an errant ball to be walked in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) reacts as he is struck out in the 9th inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) reacts as he is struck out in the 9th inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) reacts on a ball at the plate in the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) reacts on a ball at the plate in the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans cheer on Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) as he pitches at the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans cheer on Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) as he pitches at the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) makes a diving catch on a ball popped up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) for the final out of the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) makes a diving catch on a ball popped up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) for the final out of the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) give a fist pump after a pop up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) is caught by Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) to close out the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) give a fist pump after a pop up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) is caught by Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) to close out the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) argues a call after he is struck out at the top of the third as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) argues a call after he is struck out at the top of the third as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts on a strike  at the plate during the 3rd inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts on a strike at the plate during the 3rd inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) sits on the bench during the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) sits on the bench during the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals comes back off the field as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals comes back off the field as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) warms his hands in the dugout as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) warms his hands in the dugout as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) smiles as he finishes for the day as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) smiles as he finishes for the day as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

The ball took flight like a missile, zipping into the crisp fall air that settled over the nation’s capital on this October Thursday night. It sailed into the visitors’ bullpen in left field. It clanked with a thud off the back wall. It carried with it the hopes of a team, of a fan base, of an entire city hoping the team’s season would live at least one more day.

As it landed, Jayson Werth’s home run unleashed a celebration inside Nationals Park unlike any the District had seen at a ballpark in almost 80 years.

Werth flung his bat into the air and pointed to the Nationals’ dugout as his teammates poured over the railing and fireworks exploded. He rounded third base, gave double low-fives to coach Bo Porter and sent his batting helmet flying. He leapt into home plate, into the arms of his teammates, and they stomped on it together.

Their 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the National League Division Series ensured them one more day.

“I’ve seen a lot this year with this team,” first baseman Adam LaRoche said. “Some pretty special moments. I think that takes it.”

There was so much to marvel as Werth chucked his wrist guards into the crowd and gathered himself. For six minutes he’d stood at the plate against Lance Lynn. For 13 pitches he stared at the Cardinals‘ big right-hander and fought. After the 12th pitch, he glanced at the total on the scoreboard and wondered, “Is that right?”

In the on-deck circle, Bryce Harper steeled himself to bunt a 97-mph pitch and move Werth over if the veteran got on. In the dugout, after Ross Detwiler had thrown six innings without allowing an earned run, and Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen had electrified the park with three scoreless out of the bullpen, Storen turned to Clippard and called Werth’s shot.

Storen had been a victim of a Werth walk-off before. He knew what it looked like when the Nationals’ $126-million man was in an at-bat like he was Thursday night. Like he had been against Heath Bell earlier this season. “He’s going deep right here,” he told Clippard.

“I was just kind of saying that hopefully, hoping for a good result,” Storen said, his face red from the adrenaline. “Just trying to get some positive vibes out there.”

“That was the at-bat of the year,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said as he made his way through the clubhouse.

Because of it, the Nationals will meet the Cardinals back here Friday night. They’ll play one game. Gio Gonzalez will pitch for the Nationals, Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals. Winner take all. A date with the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS awaiting.

“This is what it’s all about,” Werth said. “This is what you play all season for. This is what you work out all winter for. This is why you start playing T-ball when you’re 4. This is baseball. This is why you play.”

In the clubhouse before the game, veteran Mark DeRosa read aloud Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena.” Werth walked onto the field and reliever Michael Gonzalez asked him how he felt. “I feel like I want to play tomorrow,” Werth told him.

Needing to win to keep their magical 2012 season alive, the Nationals turned to a strength that had deserted them this series: their pitching.

Detwiler is the man who earned a spot in the Nationals’ rotation because Stephen Strasburg is not a part of it. Zimmermann the man who was chased after three innings in his first playoff chance Monday. Clippard and Storen are the Nationals’ lethal late-game combination. They needed to pitch like they had one game for their lives. All of them. And they did.

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