Defense getting better for Nats

Below average defense was the No. 1. reason the Nationals finished in fifth place from 2008 to 2010.

This year appears to be a different story. After two games, the Nationals have yet to make an error and are making sparking plays.

Take Saturday’s 6-3 victory over the Braves, as an example. In the third inning, second baseman Danny Espinosa made a sensational backhanded catch off the bat of Martin Prado for the first out of the inning. At first, it looked like Espinosa hurt his left wrist on the play, but he said he was OK.

In the ninth inning, Chipper Jones hit a liner right at reliever Sean Burnett, who made a sensational grab for the final out of the inning.

“I think the defense is great,” Espinosa said. “We have a lot of athleticism. We understand how important defense is. We work hard every day. It going to show. It has already and it will continue to show.”

Even Braves third baseman Chipper Jones took notice of the Nationals’ improved defense after Saturday’s game.

“We could have very easily had 15 or 16 hits today,” Jones said. “It just seemed like they had somebody making a great play on the other end of a line drive somewhere. There’s nothing you can do. You just tip your cap. They beat us today.”

1 Comment

The difference defensively between these first 2 games and last year is huge. Those two guys up the middle, Des and Espi are really pushing each other and playing great together. Zim is still the best at third, and Roach is playing lights out at 1st base. Along with Pudge and Ramos, it’s quite an infield. The Nats are going to win a lot more games this year just by not beating themselves, which they often did in 2010. Even the first game that they lost, they played great. the Braves had to beat them to get the win. The Nats didn’t give them anything.

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