Goodwin’s mistakes overshadowing his positive contributions

PITTSBURGH - For a guy who has played in just eight games and received only 13 plate appearances, Brian Goodwin has sure found himself in the middle of a lot of significant moments for the Nationals.

Some of those moments have been positive ones, including a pair during Wednesday night’s game: an RBI double to account for the Nats’ lone run off Pirates ace Gerrit Cole and a pinpoint throw to the plate from center field to nail Gift Ngoepe.

And some of those moments have been negative ones, including a pair of baserunning blunders that proved costly to his team.

There was the 12th inning in Baltimore last week, when Goodwin took off from first base on a hit-and-run but didn’t realize Trea Turner’s fly ball to left field had been caught until after he rounded second base. That produced an unpleasant double play in what became a loss to the Orioles.

Goodwin-Swings-White-Sidebar.jpgWednesday night, Goodwin was taking his lead off second base following his seventh-inning double, hoping he’d be able to get a good jump if Jose Lobaton delivered a base hit and score the run that would trim the Nationals’ deficit to 3-2.

Instead, Pittsburgh catcher Francisco Cervelli caught Goodwin straying too far off the bag and fired back to second base after a pitch to pick him off and end the inning.

“Just (a) close game, doing everything we can, scrapping to get runs,” Goodwin said. “They were pretty much at a premium. I was just trying to put myself in a position to score on a single there.”

Instead, the top of the seventh ended with Lobaton still at-bat, the Nationals still trailing 3-1. And when the bullpen gave up three more runs in the bottom of the inning, that deficit became 6-1.

“He definitely has the talent,” manager Dusty Baker said of Goodwin. “You just gotta kind of know the situation. He’s made some rookie mistakes. Hopefully, he’ll learn from them. ... You can’t get picked off in that situation. He’s played well for us, but we’ve got to cut down the mistakes.”

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