Nationals lead MLB in errors after making 2 on 1 play vs. Marlins

Nats lead MLB in errors after making 2 on 1 play vs. Marlins originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Nationals have struggled in several aspects of the game during their 12-25 start to the season. Perhaps the most glaring area, however, has been on defense.

Washington employs former Gold Glove winners at shortstop and second base in Alcides Escobar and César Hernández, respectively. Outfielders Victor Robles and Juan Soto were both finalists for the award in 2019. Catcher Keibert Ruiz shot up prospect rankings for his defensive profile before he reached the majors. Yet entering play Monday, the club was tied for the MLB lead with 27 errors on the year.

That total rose to 29 to give them sole possession of the top spot when the Nationals made two errors on one play in the seventh inning of their game against the Miami Marlins.

Marlins outfielder Jorge Soler shot a 113.2 mph groundball past the diving Dee Strange-Gordon for a single to left with the bases loaded. Left fielder Lane Thomas then fired a throw home that was offline. Ruiz lost track of the ball and knocked it up the first base line. Pitcher Víctor Arano then picked it up and fired it to second hoping to nail Soler advancing.

The throw sailed past Hernández and into center field, where Robles needed to make a diving stop to prevent Soler from rounding third and scoring on the play. When Arano finally secured the ball and asked an umpire for a timeout, the Marlins’ lead had jumped to 7-1 and the game fell out of reach for the Nationals.

Manager Davey Martinez has addressed the team’s poor defensive play in numerous postgame press conferences over the last few weeks. He called out the left side of his infield, in particular, Wednesday for making “lazy mistakes,” and expressed a desire to see Escobar (team-high six errors) and third baseman Maikel Franco (five) play with better anticipation.

But Escobar wasn’t on the field Monday and Franco didn’t touch the ball on the play. The errors were assessed to Thomas and Arano, who became the 12th and 13th individual players on the Nationals to record an error this season. Advanced metrics don’t paint a much better picture, either. Washington went into Monday’s game ranked 24th in Defensive Runs Saved (-6) and 17th in Ultimate Zone Rating (0.2).

To make matters worse, the Nationals already made the lowlight reels last weekend with a pair of baserunning gaffes on one play against the New York Mets.

By picking up their 25th loss Monday, the Nationals sit just two games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in baseball. With more plays like those, that race could be a close one all season.  

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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