Associated Press photo
Chad Tracy and Jayson Werth were all smiles at night's end.
-- Everyone's been trying to figure out what Dan Uggla's thought process was on the final play of the game, and what he should have done differently. It was a big topic of discussion inside the Nationals' clubhouse as well.
Did the Braves second baseman have a shot at an inning-ending double play? And if so, was his best chance to tag Kurt Suzuki and then throw to first or throw to second base and have Paul Janish complete the standard 4-6-3 twin-killing? Or should he have simply given up on the idea and just thrown to the plate to get Danny Espinosa?
Here's what Espinosa (a second baseman himself, obviously) said when I asked him if he empathized with Uggla on a play like that: "Yeah, I do. Because when you're playing infield in like that and it's a hot shot and you maybe don't field it cleanly or whatever, then you're immediately thinking the ball got to you so quick you might have a chance for a double play. I'm sure that's what he thought. But that's a tough play. He hits the ball hard. He dives, makes a good play to keep the ball in the infield."
In the end, Uggla still believed the double play was his best option.
"If I had to do it over, I'd have jumped up and found Kurt and tagged him and ran and touched first," he told Atlanta reporters.
-- You may have already gone to bed by the time it was announced, but there was a scoring change on that final play. It was originally ruled an error on Uggla, but about 15 minutes later, the scorer changed the call to a base hit and an RBI for Tracy.
You can debate whether that was the right call or not -- personally, I think the whole thing should have just been scored a fielder's choice, because clearly Uggla was trying to decide which choice made the most sense for him in that moment -- but it's notable that by crediting Tracy with a hit, he's now got 10 pinch-hit RBI this season. That ranks second in the majors only to the Padres' Jesus Guzman (who has 11). Pretty remarkable when you consider Tracy missed two months following sports hernia surgery.
-- Jayson Werth had an eventful night in the field, including a couple of hold-your-breath moments during the top of the fifth. He had to come charging in to make a sliding catch of Michael Bourn's sinking liner, a play that looked awfully similar to the one in which he broke his left wrist back on May 6.
Four batters later, Werth got that same wrist caught in the chain-link fence that covers the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center and appeared to be in some pain.
"Just kind of jammed it into the fence," he said. "It's no big deal."
As for what he was thinking as he made the familiar-looking, sliding catch: "That was the first play I've had since I broke my wrist," he said. "Definitely was not really thinking about it, but was glad everything went well."
Werth explained that last night's play wasn't exactly like the one from May 6.
"It's a little bit different," he said. "The play that I broke it on was more of a line drive. That ball [last night] was coming straight down. But still, that's going to my left and sliding like that ... it's a play that I've made who knows how many times in my life. But unfortunately that one time it didn't work out so well."
-- Davey Johnson was asked who he'll have available out of his maxed-out bullpen for tonight's game. He insisted just about everyone (except for probably Craig Stammen) should be good to go, especially because the other guys all pitched only one inning.
Besides, Johnson sounded hopeful he wouldn't need any relievers all for this game.
"I'm going to go 9 with Stras anyway," he joked.