MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Resilience is key for never-say-die Nats

Resilience is key for never-say-die Nats

WASHINGTON -- Manager Matt Williams described the Nationals as a team that never gives up, and they proved it in defeating the Mets, 4-3, on Wednesday and widening their lead in the National League East to three games.

The Nationals were down, 3-1, when they made their comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning off reliever Bobby Parnell.

The rally started with Ian Desmond, who walked with one out. Matt den Dekker followed with a single up the middle. After den Dekker and Desmond advanced to second and third, respectively, on a wild pitch by Parnell, Michael Taylor, who entered the game in a 1-for-23 slump, stepped to the plate. He swung at 3-2 and hit the ball to left field, scoring Desmond and den Dekker to tie the score at 3.

"When he gets in those situations, he's not looking for a three-run homer, he is just looking for a base hit," Williams said of Taylor. "He has been able to improve this year, to feel his way through during his first real stint in the big leagues. He has played well."

Danny Espinosa then singled to left, sending Taylor home with what would stand as the game-winning run.

Espinosa's go-ahead double

After the game, Williams called Espinosa resilient for playing all over the diamond and coming through in the clutch this season, but Espinosa was simply happy that the Nationals increased their division lead.

"The Mets are a tough team over there. They have a lot of big arms on that team. They have a lot of good pitching," Espinosa said. "It feels good to get that lead and beat a good team."

The Nationals pulled off the victory despite losing third baseman Yunel Escobar earlier in the game with a wrist injury.

"I think we trust everybody that is on this team," Espinosa said. "Anybody on this team can get the job done. So I think we are all right. Just move to the next guy and keep on grinding."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.