The fielding blunder committed by Chris Taylor allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Nationals fans have seen this before.
As happy as baseball fans can feel for Brett Phillips, they have to feel bad for Chris Taylor. Phillips, who has been with four organizations over the course of his career, and entered last night’s game with 68 career hits, delivered the most clutch knock of his baseball life in the most pressure packed spot possible.
His two-out single tied the game, Taylor’s fielding error put in motion a set of wild plays which allowed the Rays to sneak out of Game 4 as winners.
The play brought immediate flashbacks of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Trent Grisham hard charging Juan Soto’s base hit in the Wild Card game a year ago. We all know how that ended. With the Washington Nationals spraying champaign all over the visiting clubhouse after Game 7 of the World Series.
Is that where the World Series is headed this year? Is this going to be the turning point, the momentum shift, which sends the Tampa Bay Rays to the winner’s circle in the Fall Classic?
Credit to Brett Phillips for putting the bat on the ball and forcing the Dodgers to make a play. Coming into the game, Phillips had zero career postseason hits and was a career .202 hitter in the regular season.
Taylor tried to play the ball to his side and appeared to take his eyes off it, as he went to glove the ball. The tying run had already come around and he was hoping to have a play on Randy Arozarena at third base.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the ball kicked away and allowed the winning run to come across for the Rays.
Just as in the Nationals/Brewers game a year ago, when the dust settled and a dejected outfielder walked off, his team had given up the lead. In this case, the game was over.
Nationals fans may not have a vested interest in the World Series this year, though they had to smile when watching that last play.