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.”