As a diehard Nats fan since day one of the 2005 season, I sure picked a great time attend my first game at Nationals Park.
We can’t say that for certain, because we don’t have pitch-count data for every postseason walk-off homer ever hit. We have reliable pitch-count data, in fact, for only most of the past two decades. But here’s what we know:
• This was the longest at-bat to result in a game-ending postseason home run of any of the walk-off shots for which baseball-reference.com data is available. The longest before this? “Only” nine pitches, by Derek Jeter, on the way to his fabled Mr. November homer in the 2001 World Series.
• No one has had a recorded at-bat this long and then hit even a regular-season walk-off homer in 15 years—since Garret Anderson hit one off Rick Aguilera, also on the 13th pitch he saw, on Sept. 15, 1997.
• Werth has been to the plate nearly 4,000 times in the regular season and hit 145 career homers. But he’d never, ever had a 13-pitch at-bat that ended in any kind of home run, let alone a walk-off. (His previous high: 12, before a 2009 homer off Oliver Perez.)
• And Werth’s longest at-bat ever before launching a walk-off bomb was eight pitches, before a 2010 game-ender against (who else?) the Nationals. The reliever who allowed that one? Drew Storen. The same Drew Storen who turned into the winning pitcher in this game, thanks to the latest Jayson Werth walk-off homer.
“The funny thing,” said reliever Tyler Clippard, “was that me and Drew were watching that at-bat in the dugout. And as it went on and on, he turned to me and said, ‘This is starting to remind me of an at-bat just like that two years ago—against me.’ So he called it.”