Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez just flashed some serious leather, turning what looked like a sure-fire drag-bunt single into an out.
With Michael McKenry on first after a leadoff single in the top of the fifth, Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald laid down a beauty of a bunt. Hernandez recovered from his follow-through, but the roller appeared destined to push past the mound for a single.
At the last second, Herrnandez bent down and, in one motion, flicked the ball with his glove hand to to first baseman Michael Morse to get McDonald for what went down in the scorebook as a successful sacrifice, the inning’s first out.
Alex Presley drew a walk to put runners at first and second, but Hernandez coaxed a soft liner to short from Chase d’Arnaud and got Garrett Jones to sky to left.
Through five innings, Hernandez has yielded two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four. He’s thrown 70 pitches, 42 for strikes.