The baseball gods might have known they gave the Brewers a break yesterday when the Nationals lost two fly balls in the sun, both of which turned into Milwaukee runs.
Today, it was the Nats that got the benefit of a sun-aided hit, which came when Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez lost track of a Jayson Werth fly ball in the fourth inning. Had Gomez made the catch, the inning would have ended. Instead, the Nats took advantage, scoring five runs from that play on before the fifth inning finally came to a close.
“You know, you gotta be lucky,” Werth said. “We were lucky today. It really probably cost them the game today and cost us the game yesterday.”
“It was nice. A little payback,” Ian Desmond said. “It’s funny the way baseball works.”
It’s kind of fitting that Werth was the one who benefited from Gomez losing the ball in the sun today; Werth lost a Gomez fly ball in the glare yesterday which ended up giving the Brewers some help.
“I don’t remember a worse sun field, worse sun conditions,” Werth said. “Left field in San Fran is tough, but this borders on ridiculous. I’ve never seen anything like it. You almost don’t have a chance out there as the game goes on. The sun starts in left and it ends in right as the game goes on. It is just a matter of being lucky and not getting a ball hit to you when it’s in your field of vision.
There’s a distinct possibility that the Nats end up hosting afternoon playoff games, which could make things really interesting in the outfield. Werth didn’t even want to really think about that scenario when asked about it after today’s game.
“Hopefully, we’ll get the night game,” he said.
Three of the Nats’ fifth-inning runs came around on Ryan Zimmerman’s 24th homer of the season, a rocket out to right-center off Marco Estrada that broke the game open.
“He threw well,” Zimmerman said of Estrada. “He finally made a mistake on the home run, but the at-bats before that he wasn’t making many mistakes. Got to give him credit for those first couple times through. We just stuck with our plan and he finally made a few mistakes.”
The Nats took two of the four games with the Brewers this series, not a bad result when facing a team which had won eight of their last nine games entering this set, and 23 of their last 29.
“Yesterday was a little sloppy, but to split four games with that team, one of the hottest teams if not the hottest team in Major League Baseball is a good series,” Zimmerman said. “We had a chance to win the first game, obviously, and then yesterday was sloppy. I think overall, a pretty good series.”
Now, on to Philly.