Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Max Scherzer Has Been Everything Nats Could Have Hoped For
By Ricky Keeler
Jun 3, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) throws to first base after tagging out Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Nats Defense Keeps History Alive
For most of this season, one of the Nationals main problems has been their defense. However, yesterday, the Nats made several key plays to preserve the perfect game bid at the time for Scherzer. When you watch a perfect game or no-hitter, there are usually some key plays that come to mind that save the historic bid during various points in the game.
The first big defensive play came in the top of the third. With one out, Jordy Mercer hit a pitch to deep left field, but Michael Taylor made a leaping grab against the wall for the out. During the first two games of this series, Taylor has made a couple of plays that have saved either extra base hits or runs from scoring. In 27 games at left field this year, the 24-year-old has yet to make an error.
Then, we fast forward to the eighth inning. With two outs, Pedro Alvarez hit a ball past the diving Anthony Rendon and into right field. However, thanks to the shift, Danny Espinosa was in shallow right and made the throw to Tyler Moore just in time for the out.
Before the game, Espinosa was slated to start at shortstop as Ian Desmond was going to get his second day off. However, with Yunel Escobar scratched from the lineup due to a stomach bug, Desmond was at shortstop and Espinosa was at second. In this case, the Nats second baseman was in the right place at the right time.
Finally, we take a look at that ninth inning. Scherzer went up against Gregory Polanco, who he struck out twice in the game. Polanco hit a 0-1 curveball in foul territory, but Anthony Rendon made the catch in front of the dugout railing for the out.
It was a big play by Rendon when you consider that Polanco has the speed to beat out an infield single if he had to. For one day, the Nationals defense was a strength for the team and was able to preserve a chance for their ace to accomplish history.
Next: Offense Comes Alive In The 6th