Marlins second baseman Omar Infante somehow avoided a tag attempt by Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos in the 11th inning, scoring the eventual winning run in a 6-5 thriller Friday night at Nationals Park.
Infante raced from first base on Greg Dobbs’ double down the right-field line. With Infante arriving at home plate before the ball, Ramos tried - to no avail - to tag Infante, first on his left and then on his right hand.
Home plate umpire Paul Nauert called Infante safe when Infante’s right hand touched the plate ahead of Ramos’ sweep tag attempt.
“I see that play on ESPN. A couple of guys do that, the same thing,” Infante said. “I pulled the hand (back) when he goes to touch me, That’s the only opportunity (to be) safe. I’m thinking it’s out for sure.”
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, who briefly disputed Nauert’s decision, felt it was the correct call.
“He was safe,” Riggleman said. “I really shouldn’t have even gone out there and argued. I just saw (Brian) Broderick was getting ready to say something and I didn’t want him to get thrown out of the game.
“(Infante) put his hand out there and pulled his hand back and put his other hand out there. Ramos made a great effort, diving at him to put the tag on him. (Ramos) is diving where he think the hand is going to be. Infante just made a great slide.”
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond said the timing was off on the tag because every other part of the play went so well.
“From (Jayson) Werth picking up the ball to the relay (by second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr.) to the tag, we executed so well that it was almost too fast,” Desmond said. “Ramos caught the ball and slid to tag. (Infante) wasn’t even there yet. And by the time he realized, (Infante) had already come back around.
“That was about as perfectly executed a cut off relay you could really have. It was just a perfect slide.”