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Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton saved the Reds’ bacon with fantastic catches

May 20, 2014, 8:25 AM EDT

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As we mentioned in this morning’s recaps, the Nationals twice thought they had game-winning hits in extra innings last night, only to have the Reds’ defense take them away with fantastic catches.

First, in the 12th, Brandon Phillips made a diving catch to rob Wilson Ramos of a hit behind second base with a runner on third. If he doesn’t: game over. Second, Billy Hamilton robbed Anthony Rendon of extra bases and the game-winner in the 14th, allowing Todd Frazier to come up in the 15th for the two-run homer that proved to be the game-winner.

Watch these fantastic plays:

  1. proudlycanadian - May 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    I wonder what the Reds plan to do with the bacon that was saved.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      Depends. If they have to put it in the fridge overnight the best bet would be to chop it up tomorrow and put it on salads or something.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      Oh, and they will probably eat that salad on the table that Cliff Lee left all that money on in New York a few years back.

      • proudlycanadian - May 20, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        Should be nutritious.

    • jm91rs - May 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      I’m hope it wasn’t Canadian bacon.

      • nbjays - May 20, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        No, he’s their first baseman.

      • proudlycanadian - May 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        Votto is also injured.

  2. natstowngreg - May 20, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    As it happened, I had a ride home, so it wasn’t necessary to leave in time to catch the last Metro train. [At least the 3rd time this has happened to fans at Nats Park, in just a quarter-season]. Each time, I had begun to rejoice at a walk-off victory. Yes, they were bummers of major proportions.

    They were great plays, though. The Nats made a few nice ones of their own, including Wilson Ramos’ diving catch of Billy Hamilton’s poor bunt. [BTW, this made back-to-back games where the opponent's first batter tried to bunt for a hit, and a Nat made a diving catch. Jayson Stark should be able to make something of that.] This was a 15-inning game full of missed opportunities (Reds left 14 on, Nats 13).

    Watching Billy Hamilton was an interesting experience. It’s unclear whether he can hit, or will just be the latest in a long line of fast guys who can steal second, third and home, but can’t steal first. He does create excitement when he manages to reach base. On one occasion, while on first, a routine grounder was hit to 2B Danny Espinosa. By the time Espinosa could turn to throw to short to start the DP, Hamilton was almost to the bag, forcing a throw to first instead. On the other hand, he got picked off third (the Reds argued that Stephen Strasburg balked, to no avail). As a CF, it’s about running down the ball (not surprising, given his inexperience). Early in the game, he nearly misplayed a fly ball into a double.

    • stex52 - May 20, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      I’m sure it stung a bit, Greg. But that is baseball. We are probably the best fans at cheering the great play no matter who makes it. And they were great plays.

      • natstowngreg - May 20, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        Indeed.

        Since the Nats came to town, I’ve sat through a 15-inning game; two 14-inning games; and at least one 13-inning game. The Nats lost them all. Must be some sort of bad karma.

    • metalhead65 - May 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      give the guy a break already! he has proven to be a capable hitter and pretty good centerfielder. not bad for a rookie and a guy new to the position. with more experience he will be a become a better hitter and if not well they can live with him batting .260 because singles and walks are doubles when he gets on base. nobody expected him to be a superstar in his first year. the fact he is proving the ‘experts” wrong so far this year is good enough for me.

      • natstowngreg - May 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Please stop hyperventilating, it’s bad for your health. I didn’t say Hamilton is a bust or anything. Just pointing out certain realities in his game that showed themselves in one (very long) game. The defense should only improve with experience, which is a frightening prospect. His baserunning impact is immense, despite his blunder last night.

        As for his ability to actually get on base, to use the speed to best advantage. His current OPS is .300. Last season, in 547 AAA plate appearances, it was .308. Not leadoff-hitter worthy. But, in 2012, (605 plate appearances in High A and AA), it was .410. The potential is there, we just need to see it at the MLB level. I’m not making any assumptions one way or the other.

    • Marty McKee - May 20, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      I’m a Reds fan who just moved to the DC area last month. This was my second game at Nats Park, and I was surprised by the announcement that I had better leave the game now or risk being stranded. To give credit, Metro appears to have extra trains standing by the Navy Yard stop to move the fans. It seems weird to me that it doesn’t stay open later to accommodate extra-inning games. I had to leave in the top of the 12th. Just as well I did, I suppose, because getting up for work this morning was a bear. Sorry I missed the Hamilton catch (and the Toddfather homer!) though.

      • natstowngreg - May 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Welcome to Nats Town.

        Nats Park was designed to facilitate Metro service. In my experience, Metro usually does a good job of getting large numbers of fans in and out. Problem is, Metro closes early on weekday nights, compared with other big-city mass transit systems. And, no one will pay Metro for the costs of keeping the system open when games run late. Ownership could afford it easily, but the Lerners don’t want to pay for anything if they can avoid it. MLB doesn’t want to set a precedent for owners paying for things if they can avoid it. So, fans are stuck.

        [BTW, I am sleep-typing this, having gotten home about 1:00 AM. That's my excuse for any typos, and I'm sticking to it.]

  3. pundyveit - May 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    It was interesting to see Hamilton pound his glove with his throwing hand, like outfielders do when they’re camped under a ball, but in this case he was doing it full-stride. I wonder how often outfielders do that.

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