It seems like the Washington Nationals have been playing with magic wands the past few days.
The Nats won their third straight game via a walk-off hit Monday night and their seventh consecutive game overall. Adam LaRoche blasted an 11th inning home run — a no-doubt type of homer — to give the Nats a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
After the game, LaRoche told reporters, including Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post:
“I got every bit of that one,” LaRoche said. “Just a crazy few days. I don’t know how we’ve gotten into these walk-off situations the last few days, but we’ve been able to grind back.”
LaRoche's homer was the most dramatic of the walk-off trifecta, but the other two were just as effective. The Nats won on an 11th-inning sac fly on Sunday and a ninth-inning ground-rule double Saturday. Both of those came against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Their seven-game winning streak has pushed the Nats' lead in the NL East to six games over the second-place Atlanta Braves, the biggest division lead in the NL at the moment.
Wondering how the three straight walk-offs size up historically? MLB.com's Jamie Ross has the factoids:
The Nationals are the second team to string together three in a row this season. The Rays accomplished the feat in late May with a win over the A's and a pair over the Red Sox. The Phillies and Rangers both did it 2013.
The 1986 Astros hold the record for consecutive walk-off wins with five.
Do the Nationals' magic wands have two more nights of walk-off drama in them? We'll find out Tuesday. But after two straight extra-inning wins and three straight nail-biters, the Nats would probably be just fine winning a game that's decided by a comfortable margin.
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