- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Washington Nationals moved to the District 10 years ago, and to commemorate their move from Montreal, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 moments in Nationals history:

Ryan Zimmerman’s walk-off homer in the Nationals Park opener | March 31, 2008

Zimmerman’s fourth career walk-off home run came with two outs on a 1-0 pitch from Atlanta Braves reliever Peter Moylan. The ball narrowly cleared the left-field fence. “I was talking to it and trying to coax it over the fence,” Zimmerman said.

Stephen Strasburg’s debut | June 8, 2010

His performance added to the hype. Strasburg struck out 14 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of a sellout crowd. Strasburg’s 14 strikeouts were one short of the major-league record for a debut. “I really can’t put into words any better than what you saw,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said.

Jayson Werth’s Game 4 home run | Oct. 11, 2012

The Nationals were in the playoffs for the first time since baseball returned to D.C., and were on the ropes. Werth faced St. Louis Cardinals reliever Lance Lynn in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two outs and the game tied, 1-1. Lynn threw a 3-2 fastball down the middle and Werth hit it into the left field bullpen.

Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter | Sept. 28, 2014

He was sure it was over. Zimmermann was brilliant all day against the Miami Marlins. But, when Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich ripped a fly ball to left field with two outs in the ninth, Zimmermann was sure the chance to throw the Nats’ first no-hitter was gone. That’s when Steven Souza dove, rolled, then showed the ball, making one of the most amazing catches of the season.

Brad Wilkerson hits for cycle | April 6, 2005

The Nationals were new in town and opened with a lengthy road trip. In the second game of the season, Wilkerson went 4-for-4 on his way to hitting for the cycle after walking in his first at-bat of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Wilkerson hit a double in the top of the ninth off Aaron Fultz to complete the cycle.

Ryan Zimmerman Father’s Day walkoff home run | June 18, 2006

With his father, Keith, in the stands, Zimmerman came to the plate with the Nationals trailing, 2-1, in the bottom of the ninth against the New York Yankees. New York starter Chien-Ming Wang threw Zimmerman a fastball, which Zimmerman said he expected, resulting in the first walkoff home run of Zimmerman’s life.

Ramon Ortiz near no-hitter | Sept. 4, 2006

The likelihood of Ortiz carrying a no-hitter into the ninth inning was low. He was on a personal three-game losing streak and had allowed 22 runs in his prior 16 1/3 innings. Against the Cardinals, however, Ortiz was dazzling for a day. A line drive single to start the ninth ended the drama, but Ortiz had two other memorable instances that day: He hit a home run, and general manager Jim Bowden bought him a bottle of Dom Perignon for his work.

Clinching the NL East in 2012 | Oct. 1, 2012

Despite losing that night, champagne still flowed. The Nationals lost, 2-0, to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Atlanta Braves had lost to the Phillies the same night, giving the Nationals their first division title since baseball returned to D.C. “The boys thought we were the team to beat,” first baseman Adam LaRoche said. Turned out he was right.

Ten-game winning streaks | 2005 and 2014

Two streaks ended up with two different results. The Nationals roared through a 13-game homestand in 2005 by winning the final 10 games of it. That brought hope the new club could make the playoffs. A putrid second half ended those thoughts. In 2014, the 10-game winning streak was manic. It included five walk-off victories. Bryce Harper called the streak “Absolutely epic” and the Nationals won the division.

Home opener after baseball returned | April 14, 2005

President George W. Bush made his way through the clubhouse to joke and chat with the players. His first pitch started things for the Nationals in RFK. A strong 8 1/3 innings from Livan Hernandez was finished by Chad Cordero, who had a spectacular first half as the Nationals‘ closer. Offseason acquisition Vinny Castilla doubled, tripled and hit a home run, and the Nationals won, 5-3, in their home debut.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide