Some random notes on Espi, Nady, Harper
* Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa continues to be productive from the right side of the plate. On Friday, he went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored. He raised his batting average to .359 [14-for-39].
“I feel like no one can get me out,” Espinosa said. “I feel pretty good. I have a good approach up there. I know what I can’t hit.”
On the other hand, from the left side of the plate, Espinosa has had problems all year long. Going into Saturday’s action against the Red Sox, he is 30-for-156 [.192]. Espinosa doesn’t have an explanation on why he is having problems from the left side of the plate. For most of his life, he says, Espinosa has been successful against right-handed pitching.
“It has been real weird for me,” Espinosa said. “My whole life I was a better left-handed hitter. It’s kind of confusing. I don’t understand it. Left-handed, I feel like, I’m not using my hands. I feel like I’m using my shoulders, my body, almost trying to create too much.
“Right-handed, I try to use my hands. … My strength will get there as long as my hand gets there, but it has been a work in progress, I guess, this whole year. It gets frustrating at times because I was a better hitter left-handed. It’s like, why all of a sudden am I struggling left-handed?”
* Lost in the Nationals’ 7-4 victory was the fact that outfielder Xavier Nady robbed Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of a solo homer in the third inning.
With Stephen Strasburg on the mound and the Nationals leading, 3-2, Gonzalez swung at a 0-1 pitch and hit the ball to deep right field.
Center fielder Bryce Harper shouted to Nady, “You have room, you have room.” Nady climbed the five-foot wall and caught the ball while on running on full speed.
“When I realized that it was in my glove, I kind of shocked myself,” Nady said. “With the sky — once I turned my head and ran — I didn’t pick up the ball until it was close to hitting me in the head. I didn’t pick it up immediately, but I was fortunate enough to hold on to it. I’m still in shock.”
* Although Bryce Harper went 3-for-5 against the Red Sox n Friday, manager Davey Johnson felt the 19-year-old made two mistakes in the games.
In the sixth inning, Harper singled off left-hander Rich Hill to drive in Tyler Moore. Harper was out trying to stretch the single into a double.
Although first-base coach Trent Jewett told Harper to go to second, Johnson felt Harper should have used his instincts and realized he didn’t have a shot to take the extra base.
“[Harper] saw the throw coming to second,” Johnson said. “He was going to hold, but Trent was assuming the ball was going to be [thrown to home plate], so he went on Trent’s instructions. I told [Harper], ‘You have to read that, no matter what he says. [Jewett] is thinking it’s going to be a close play at the plate, then you go give yourself up.’ Harper knew it.”
The second mistake was Harper, who batted second during the game, tried to bunt to reach base.
“I don’t want him to do that,” Johnson said. “I don’t know where that came from, what box of Cracker Jacks he got that out of. … I didn’t ask him about the bunt, but I’ll get to that tomorrow.”
* Stat of the day courtesy of the Red Sox: Harper’s six home runs this season are the most by teenager since Adrian Beltre had seven with the Dodgers in 1998 with the Dodgers.