Washington Nationals give up run on terrible defensive gaffe
Defensive lapses are bound to happen over the course of a 162 game baseball season. However, with as much as players go through these motions, you would think rotations take place without even thinking. Or, maybe players get caught watching the action and forget they could ultimately become involved in the action. Whatever the excuse, the Washington Nationals allowed a game-tying run on a popup which was caught not far from the batter’s box.
Plays like these are wonderful when they happen to the team you are cheering for. They are cringe-worthy when they happen against the team you are cheering for. These plays appear on highlight reels for weeks and are the stuff hilarious memes are built from. The Nats found themselves on the wrong side of one against Milwaukee.
Kolten Wong catches the Nationals sleeping and is able to tag and score on a shallow popup in foul territory.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Nationals leading by a run, the Brewers had runners at second and third with one out. Crew catcher Omar Narvaez popped a ball up in foul territory and a trio of Nationals converged. The catch was made. Narvaez was retired and Nats pitcher Gabe Klobosits was one out away from getting out of the inning with his team ahead.
On the popup, which went into foul territory along the first baseline, three players converged for some reason. How often do pitchers catch popups? Klobosits should have been no where near this ball, he could have covered home plate. After stumbling over Narvaez, Nats catcher Tres Barerra heads for the ball as well. He doesn’t get close by the time Ryan Zimmerman catches the ball, but Barrera pauses to adjust his catcher’s helmet. He could have covered home plate.
Seeing three guys converge on the play, and an aggressive Kolten Wong backpedaling to the base to tag up, Nats third baseman Carter Kieboom could have run in to cover the plate.
As it was, no one covered home plate, and Wong beat Zimmerman there, to score the tying run on what turned out to be a sacrifice fly. Which didn’t go deeper than the base paths.
More credit should go to Wong here on his great hustle, than blame to the Nationals for their lapse in attention. However, there is a reason the Brewers are winning their division and the Nationals are fighting to stay out of last place in theirs.