At some point, this improbable streak the Washington Nationals are riding will end — but it wasn't happening Thursday.
The Nats won their 10th straight game, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 on a walk-off error in the bottom of the ninth inning. Of the Nats' last six wins, five of them have been walk-offs, which is a crazy kind of luck that the team and its fans have started to call #WalkOffCity.
Denard Span was in the hero role this time. He singled in the ninth inning of a scoreless game, then stole second. Anthony Rendon hit a grounder to third, which Jordan Pacheco of Arizona threw into the camera well beyond first base. That meant Span went to third base and was awarded home.
It was a little strange. Being "awarded" a walk-off win summons confusion. But a 10-game winning streak accepts victories of all types.
It's the second straight game the Nats won with Rendon at the plate. He had a pinch-hit walk-off single on Wednesday. The Nats also got a walk-off homer from Adam LaRoche on Monday, a walk-off sac fly from Scott Hairston on Sunday and a walk-off ground-rule double from Wilson Ramos on Saturday.
Per Elias, the Nationals are the first team with 5 walk-off wins over 6-game span since 1986 Astros & 7th overall to do it since 1900.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) August 21, 2014
The players have started to rally around a gnome of Jayson Werth as a good-luck charm (it was there Thursday). Fans are using a Vine of Elmo dancing as their victory celebration. This has all the pillars of baseball winning streaks going weird. And wonderful.
On the field each night, there's a different reason to celebrate and a different guy in the middle of it. As the always-great Adam Kilgore at the Washington Post put it, Thursday's win "perpetuated the most ridiculous stretch of baseball this town has ever seen, a winning streak that reached 10 games and infinite degrees of silliness."
Which is good, because baseball could always stand to be a little more silly.
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