MIAMI - The Nationals had a golden chance to take the lead back in the eighth inning when Jerry Hairston Jr. drew a two-out walk, bringing Jayson Werth to the plate. And when Werth smoked a Clay Hensley pitch, it looked like the Nationals might have their run.
The ball bounced hard off the left field wall, though, and a potentially costly baserunning mistake ended the Nationals’ inning.
Hairston was rounding third, being waved home by third base coach Bo Porter as third baseman Donnie Murphy took a relay from left fielder Logan Morrison all the way in the infield. Porter changed to a stop sign as the ball came in, but it was too late, and as Hairston tried to head back to third, he got caught in an inning-ending rundown.
Porter has tried to be aggressive with Nationals baserunners this year, and we’ve seen the effect already in players taking extra bases. But with Ryan Zimmerman on deck, it was a brutal mistake to make.
We’re still tied at two in the eighth, and we’ll see if this comes back to haunt the Nationals.