WASHINGTON -- There is nothing quite like October baseball, as the people of the nation's capital finally are rediscovering. Of course, Nationals rightfielder Jayson Werth already knew that. He has played in two World Series and he watched the exciting games on television Wednesday night.
His team had just taken its second consecutive eight-run drubbing on Wednesday, but still he had not had enough.
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"Baseball this time of year is the best time for sports. I love October baseball," Werth said, happy to have seen close friend and former Phillies teammate Raul Ibañez hit historic tying and winning home runs for the Yankees.
"I probably texted him 20 times last night congratulating him. That was awesome," he said, adding that Ibañez texted him back four times Thursday while Werth was on his way to the park for his own awesome moment.
Werth led off the bottom of the ninth with his own home run into the leftfield bullpen, on the 13th pitch of an at-bat against Cardinals reliever Lance Lynn, to give the Nationals a 2-1 win in Game 4 and bring new life to their improbable season.
Despite having looked all but gone after the two routs, the Nationals drew even in the Division Series and set up a deciding Game 5 Friday night at Nationals Park. It was the first win for the home side in a Washington-based postseason game since 1933, and it featured the best the Nationals had to offer.
They got outstanding pitching from starter Ross Detwiler, the young lefthanded starter who grew up near St. Louis and got his chance to start in this series because of the Nationals' controversial decision to shut down phenom Stephen Strasburg. Detwiler allowed no earned runs in six innings.
Relievers Jordan Zimmermann (a starter making his first appearance out of the bullpen), Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen were even better. The first two struck out the side and the latter struck out two.
"They rose to the occasion. All of them were throwing harder than I've ever seen them throw," manager Davey Johnson said.
Also, the Nationals hung in there against stellar Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse (seven innings, two hits, one run).