WASH: Brian Dozier’s best game with Nats, came at expense of NRI
With the announcement Brian Dozier was retiring from the game of baseball, we got a little nostalgic and looked through his games with the Washington Nationals to see which was his best. Considering he didn’t get his batting average above .200 until mid-May, and he lost the starting job at second base shortly after Asdrubal Cabrera was signed in August, there wasn’t much to look through.
Don’t get me wrong, Dozier did have some great performances with the Nationals. He had three hits and scored three runs early in the year against Philadelphia. He doubled, homered, and drove in three in a game midseason, against Philadelphia. He had three hits and walked in his four plate appearances late in the year against Baltimore. The game which stands out as his best though, was an August 18th home game with the Milwaukee Brewers in town.
Brian Dozier’s best game with the Washington Nationals came at the expense of Hernan Perez, a non-roster invitee in Nats camp this year.
On this day the Nationals hitters hung some crooked numbers on the scoreboard and led 13-0 heading to the fourth inning. Dozier hit a three-run home run in the third inning to turn a six run game into a nine run game. He walked and singled in his next two plate appearances and by the eighth inning the game was well out of hand for the Brew Crew.
Looking a 15-4 deficit in the face, the Brewers decided to rest their beleaguered pitching staff and sent utility man Hernan Perez to the mound to get the last three outs. To that point in his career, Perez had played eight of the nine positions on a baseball diamond, several times each. He puts the versatility in utility man. He had pitched in six previous games in his career, with catcher being the one position he hadn’t logged time at.
In two prior pitching performances earlier in the year, Perez had yet to yield a run. That all changed the moment Brian Dozier stepped into the batter’s box, this balmy August day. With the count 3-1 in his favor, Dozier sent the next Perez offering (which registered 73 mph on the radar gun) about seven rows deep in center field. This capped a two homer day, with four runs driven in for Dozier.
So as one guy rides off into the sunset, World Series ring on hand, the other rides into camp without a guaranteed job. If Hernan Perez does make the team this year, lets hope we don’t see him on the pitching mound.