The pitch was a changeup, no different than 178 other changeups Stephen Strasburg had thrown for the Washington Nationals.
Ryan Mattheus climbed the mound with more energy pulsing through him than almost any other time in his career. Jordan Zimmermann prayed that he wouldn't "walk the world." Sean Burnett thought about the long road he'd traversed to get to that point and Todd Coffey reminded himself not to put an undue burden on his shoulder while trying to protect his elbow.
Tom Gorzelanny was just doing what he thought he should. He'd reached base in the second inning on a fielder's choice and found himself gunning for home on a triple to right-center field by Roger Bernadina.
Home runs had been a rarity for Sean Burnett and Rick Ankiel. For Ankiel, the Washington Nationals outfielder whose season had twice been derailed by injury, the rarity was hitting them. For Burnett, it was giving them up.
If most of the Washington Nationals couldn't recall their last six-game winning streak, it wouldn't be for lack of an apt memory. Only three members of their current 25-man roster were around, and played, the last time they reeled off that many.
There was a moment Thursday night, while Livan Hernandez lay flat on his back on the front of the pitcher's mound at Petco Park, that the Nationals' right-hander had more to worry about than the one-run deficit he was working with and the two-run homer he'd given up to the Padres in the first inning.
There isn't much this season that has gone Sean Burnett's way.
Rick Ankiel drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out walk in the 11th inning and Mike Morse followed with a grand slam, leading the Washington Nationals to a wild 9-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
The Nationals put Roy Halladay in an unfamiliar position Monday afternoon. They forced the formidable right-hander to look over his shoulder three times and watch as a Washington hitter turned one of his pitches into a souvenir.