WASHIINGTON -- Center fielder Ben Revere never had a game-ending hit, but that changed on Friday night. His double in the 14th inning helped the Nationals edge the Reds, 3-2, at Nationals Park.The score was tied at 2 when Reds right-hander Ross Ohlendorf hit Danny Espinosa with a pitch leading
WASHIINGTON -- Center fielder Ben Revere never had a game-ending hit, but that changed on Friday night. His double in the 14th inning helped the Nationals edge the Reds, 3-2, at Nationals Park.
The score was tied at 2 when Reds right-hander Ross Ohlendorf hit Danny Espinosa with a pitch leading off the 14th. After Espinosa advanced to second on a groundout by Wilson Ramos, Revere followed and hit a 1-0 pitch over the head of right fielder Jay Bruce, scoring Espinosa.
As his teammates were mobbing him for a job well done, there was teammate Max Scherzer picking Revere up like a rag doll. Yes, Revere received a Gatorade bath and pieces of gum mixed in.
"I never had a walk-off in the big leagues. I didn't know what was going to happen," said Revere, who went 3-for-7 in the game. "Something like that I could probably see happening, someone picking me up like a little child."
It was a big hit Revere needed in the worst way. Entering the game, Revere was hitting .217. One could understand the frustration. There were days when he was hitting the ball hard. Other days, he was hitting weak grounders to second base for outs.
"It's frustrating," Revere said. "There were games where I hit four missiles right at people and [go hitless]. Your average goes down. Then there will be games where I hit three bloopers and I bat three times and I get three or four hits. … You have to keep battling. It's a long season and that's where the game goes. Hopefully down the stretch, balls will fall for us. We could really be rolling."
Manager Dusty Baker said Revere was stinging balls for most of the season without anything to show for it.
"[The hit] meant a lot to him because he feels he is not contributing," Baker said. "Tonight was Ben's night. He contributed big time. When you get the game-winning walk-off like he did, that's huge for your confidence and for everybody else's confidence, especially when you win close games or extra-inning games."
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.