Most pitchers don’t know how to hit. All of them don’t know how to run the bases.
Example: Jordan Zimmerman in last nights 2-1 loss to the Padres.
With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the eighth inning and the Nationals desperately needing a run, Jordan Zimmerman batted with two outs and bases empty.
With a pitch count under 80, it was not the time to pinch hit. Against the odds, Zimmerman blooped a hit to centerfield, announcing to the Nats anemic lineup that he would try to win the game all by himself.
Even though Bob Carpenter inexplicably speculated whether Denard Span would hit a home run (Denard Span doesn’t hit home runs), the Nats best hope for a run was moving the runner 90 feet at a time.
Span hit a sharp ground ball up the middle. With the bases empty, it’s a clean infield single. With an average baserunner on first, it’s probably also a single. But with pitcher running, it was a tragic out.
The Padres second baseman made a sliding backhand grab. He sharply pivoted and shuffled the ball to the shortstop covering second.
The optimist in me expected a bang-bang play at second in the Nationals favor.
Jordan Zimmerman awarded my faith by not sliding.
Folks on twitter speculated that Zimmerman was safe. To me it doesn’t really matter. The complete lack of fundamentals likely contributed to the umpires decision. Umpires usually associate not sliding with “out”. It’s the human factor, right?
Either way, slide Jordan. Slide.