We got to witness two of the most incredible defensive plays of the season tonight to debate in Nationals history with the greatest plays ever with Roger Bernadina’s 9th inning catch in Houston and Steven Souza’s catch to save Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter. Ben Revere robbed a HR tonight going above the wall to take away a Freddie Freeman HR, and Trea Turner went ‘Jeter jump throw’ to rob a hit as he ranged far beyond 2nd base on the outfield grass with his momentum taking him towards leftfield. Revere also made that ‘Willie Mays’ catch earlier this month and a play against the wall in Nats Park at the Red Porch seats as part of his highlight reel.
The lowlights were plenty for both teams, and in the 8th inning Danny Espinosa booted a grounder for an error and right after that Anthony Rendon threw away a throw to 2nd base to allow the Braves to tie the game on the Freddie Freeman double. Matt Belisle and Koda Glover deserved better defense.
Tanner Roark was good tonight and had given up 2 earned runs through the 6th inning, and Dusty Baker allowed Roark to come out for the 7th inning and Roark gave up a long flyout for out #1. The next batter Markakis crushed a HR to bring the Braves to within 2 runs and that was his last batter of the night, one batter too late. Blake Treinen closed out the 7th inning.
Trea Turner had a 3-hit game scoring 2 runs and had 1 RBI for another key offensive night, and his biggest offensive play might have been on a routine grounder he hit to 3rd base where he caused another infielder to rush a throw and it sailed over 1st base for a costly error which scored Anthony Rendon to make the score 6-3 in the top of the 8th inning.
Wilson Ramos had 2 hits tonight, and it was his single to start the 9th inning where he was replaced by the pinch-runner (Pedro Severino) who scored the winning run on CRob’s game winning single. Ramos on defense threw out 2 baserunners tonight attempting to steal.
Did we mention Ben Revere had a two-hit night with a key 2 out RISP hit? Say what you want about how Revere hits with bases empty, because when men are in scoring position Revere is batting .321 now with a .375 OBP. His sample size is now 65 plate appearances in those situations. Revere is batting .308 with 2 outs in RISP situations. Contrast all of that with Revere’s .177 BA with bases empty. Is it that Revere likes hitting off of pitchers out of the ‘stretch’ versus the ‘wind-up’ or is it something else? We saw this large disparity last year with Michael Taylor also.
Jayson Werth’s on-base streak came to an end tonight at 46 games. Every Nationals’ position player had at least one-hit tonight except for Jayson Werth. It happens.
“The ball sounded pretty good off the bat, so I thought Freeman got all of it,” Revere said. “Then I looked up, I say, ‘It’s already a home run.’ As I’m getting closer, I may have a chance at this. I leaped and then I had a chance.”
Here are the Statcast™ statistics on Freddie Freeman’s ball caught by Ben Revere: Exit velocity of 102 mph and a launch angle of 35 degrees. Revere’s ‘First Step’ move at contact was 0.43 seconds, Revere’s top speed was 19.7 mph with a covered distance of 117 feet with a route efficiency of 97.5%.
“One of the greatest catches I ever saw,” Tanner Roark said. “I thought it was a home run and then Revere comes down and Bryce is on his knees saying, ‘Holy cow.’”
“That was some catch,” Dusty Baker said. “And as baseball would have it, Nick Markakis takes a home run away from [ Clint Robinson]. I don’t think I ever saw that in back-to-back innings.”
Here is the recap video of the game that you can view here, and there are plenty of highlights to see in this video.
Of special note on this night, the game winning hit by Clint Robinson in the 9th inning saved a taxed bullpen from having to pitch in extra innings. Dusty Baker had A. J. Cole saved just in case a ‘long-man’ was needed, but luckily, CRob saved Baker from needing to make that move to Cole. Robinson now has hits in 14 of his last 19 starts, and on top of that has 10 games with RBIs in those last 19 starts, and more importantly has 4 RBIs that have put the team ahead. Last night’s RBI was large in scope to not only win the game, but as mentioned to save the bullpen. Robinson is not a stranger to late inning dramatics as he had the 9th inning pinch-hit walk-off home run against the Tigers on May 9th when he honestly thought he was pinch-hitting in the 8th inning until he rounded second base and saw the mosh pit of celebrants waiting at homeplate to greet him.
Dusty Baker had this to say about the Ben Revere catch, “It was very impressive. I saw it tonight in still-frame. He needs to get that framed. That was some catch.”
You mean this still-frame?