A half-inning before, Jayson Werth lost a Battle of the Megabeards, striking out with the bases loaded against Lance Lynn, a fellow fur face. But he would get a chance to redeem himself in Game 1 of the NLDS. With the Washington Nationals trailing the St. Louis Cardinals by a run, Werth tracked a long fly hit to right by Daniel Descalso. Back he went. Back ... back ... back:
Considering the time of day and the shadows and glare that were in play, that's one of the better catches you'll see all season. Werth got a little lucky — he caught the ball just above the glove's heel, not deep in the pocket. A lot of times, a ball like that gets jarred loose when the outfielder slams into the fence.
Brace yourself ...
Here's another look at the catch, by a Reuters photographer via the Washington Post.
An equally good part of the play was Werth's quick and accurate-enough throw to the infield that chased David Freese back to first base. If Werth doesn't catch the ball, it's at least a double for Descalso, maybe a home run (some have reported it as such) and possibly a huge inning for the Cards. Instead, after putting another runner on, reliever Craig Stammen got out of the jam, holding St. Louis to its 2-1 lead.
The Nats wriggled out of another jam in the seventh after the Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs in what has to be their most regrettable inning of the game.
"If we kept them right there, I felt like we were going to win the game," Werth said. "For whatever reason, I felt like that was our game."
A half-inning later, Washington's offense responded with a pair of runs on a blood single by rookie Tyler Moore. Washington's bullpen continued to keep the Cards off the board and the Nats won 3-2, giving their fans time to take a breath before Game 2 on Monday.