Taylor misplay leads to first inside-the-park grand slam in 21st century

by Jacob Emert

WASHINGTON – The sinking line drive kept on sinking, but center fielder Michael Taylor had already committed. Taylor laid out for the catch, but the ball skipped by and Aaron Altherr sprinted around the bases for the first inside-the-park grand slam in the MLB since 1999.

“I felt like I had a good beat on the ball,” Taylor said after the 8-2 loss to Philadelphia. “I thought I had a chance on it. I know in that situation you better catch the ball, and I wouldn’t have gone for it if I didn’t think I could.”

For Taylor, who has dazzled with his range for much of his rookie season, the alternative, and probably the smarter play, was to play the line drive off a hop and limit the damage to one run.

“Yeah, but he thinks he’s got a chance to catch it,” manager Matt Williams said. “Once he goes for it then there’s no turning back at that point.”

The grand slam was the first of two home runs Altherr hit on Friday. Starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed three home runs total in what was probably his last start as a National in Washington.

“That was a big play for us, and I felt like I let down the team and I let down Jordan,” Taylor said.

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