PHILADELPHIA - Denard Span’s night got off to a rough start from the get-go.
He sent a pop-up foul leading off the first inning, only to have Chase Utley’s error give him another shot in the at-bat. He then shot a liner at Utley, who skied to make the catch and rob Span of a hit.
In his second at-bat, Span laid down a bunt that he thought rolled foul. He stood near the batter’s box for a couple seconds until he saw that the ball had stayed fair and was going to be turned into an easy 2-6-3 double play. Span grounded into another double play in the fifth, and completed his day at the plate with a groundout in the eighth.
The bunt-attempt-turned-double-play was a tough moment for a guy that prides himself on going all-out, all the time.
“I thought it was foul. That’s why I just stood there,” Span said. “You guys have never seen me stand there. You see me hustle out everything so, yeah I knew it hit the plate but it seemed like it hit behind me and from the angle where I was at in the box, I thought it went backward. So just a late reaction in the box but I definitely thought it went foul.
“That’s not a good feeling. Between that and the pop-up foul, that might be worse.”
Span gave an effort at Kevin Frandsen’s sinking liner in the seventh, but the ball was tailing away from him and skipped off his glove to go for a double. Even if Span makes that catch, however, he didn’t really have any shot to make a throw to the plate and nab John McDonald, who was tagging for the go-ahead run.
“No chance,” Span said. “None at all.”
Of course, Span wasn’t the only guy to struggle today. Let’s not put the full weight of this loss on his shoulders.
The Nationals managed just five hits as a team and put only four runners in scoring position. They failed to turn four Phillies errors into anything and then also got a bad break in the first when Bryce Harper was called out at home when replays showed he beat Domonic Brown’s throw to the plate.
“I thought I was safe,” Harper said.
The Nats definitely missed some opportunities tonight, but they also left Jordan Zimmermann out to dry a little bit.
“Jordan threw great,” Harper said. “We battled all game. Tip your cap to (Kyle) Kendrick and really just try to go out there tomorrow and get that win against the Marlins. You can’t really look at tonight and dwell on it. You’ve just got to look to tomorrow to the Marlins and try to win that series.”
For what it’s worth, Frandsen had some incredibly complimentary things to say about Zimmermann after the game.
“Jordan is one hell of a pitcher,” Frandsen said. “Everyone talks about Harvey starting the All-Star Game, but that guy has made himself one hell of a resume all year. The last couple years. It’s unfortunate he lost, but it’s great for the Phillies. It was a great pitchers’ duel. KK stepped up.”