In the fifth inning last night, Jerry Hairston stood at the plate, the count full and the bases empty. Jaime Garcia was on the mound, working faster than Hairston preferred. Garcia pitched with a tempo that reminded Hairston of Cliff Lee’s, and “I take my time,” Hairston said.
The difference set up one of the strangest singles you’ll see. Hairston stuck his hand up to call time. Home plate umpire Marty Foster ruled that Garcia had already lifted his front leg, so he did not grant Hairston time. Since there were two strikes, Hairston had no choice. In one motion, he put his hand back on his bat, cocked his hands and swung, lacing a line drive right back at Garcia, into center for a hit.
“To be honest with you, I don’t believe in luck,” Hairston said. “But it’s one of those things where it really wasn’t skill, either.”
Hitting in a major league baseball game requires such concentration, and is built on such detailed, methodical preparation, that it seems hard to believe Hairston could get a hit with the degree of difficulty caused by the missed timeout signal. Hairston, though, had an explanation for that.
“Hitting is more timing,” Hairston said. “Believe it or not, if you look back at that play, I was definitely in rhythm. Now, if threw a breaking ball, I probably would have swung and missed. It’s one of things where I timed it pretty good after I kind of was in panic mode.”
FROM THE POST
The Nationals split their day-night doubleheader against the Cardinals, winning 8-6 and losing 5-3.
The Twins may regret giving up Wilson Ramos, but for now they’re happy to have Matt Capps, Sheinin writes.
NATS MINOR LEAGUES
Syracuse 6, Pawtucket 3: Roger Bernadina went 2 for 4 with a walk. Ross Detwiler allowed three runs in six innings on nine hits and a walk, striking out three. Henry Rodriguez allowed no runs in two innings on a hit and a walk, striking out two. Cole Kimball earned the save with a scoreless innings in which he allowes a walk.
Altoona 3, Harrisburg 2: Stephen Lombardozzi went 2 for 4 with a double. Erik Davis allowed two earned runs runs in 5 1/3 innings on four hits and four walks, striking out three.
Frederick 6, Potomac 1 (Game 1): Chris Curran went 2 for 3 with a double. Cutter Dykstra went 2 for 3.
Potomac 8, Frederick 4 (Game 2): Cutter Dykstra went 2 for 3 with a walk. J.P. Ramirez went 2 for 4 with a home run. Jeff Kobernus went 2 for 4 with a double.
Hickory 8, Hagerstown 3: Bryce Harper went 2 for 5 with a double, two runs and a strikeout David Freitas went 2 for 3 with two walks.