Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was a late scratch Tuesday in what was termed a “manager’s decision” by a team spokesman.
The spokesman said Zimmerman might be available to pinch-hit. Chad Tracy is starting at third base in his place.
Zimmerman’s absence bodes well for Roy Halladay to continue his dominance of the Nationals. He’s 11-0 with a 2.09 ERA against the franchise since last losing to the Expos on June 28, 2002.
CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman points out that the Nationals used the “manager’s decision” term once before this season when they scratched Jayson Werth due to what was eventually revealed to be a migraine headache.
After scoring two quick runs against Astros starter Dallas Keuchel in Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening, the Red Sox offense threatened again in the third. J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts drew back-to-back two-out walks, bringing up Steve Pearce, who hits lefties quite well. With a 2-2 count, Pearce lifted an 81 MPH slider towards the Crawford Boxes in right field, a mere 315 feet away from home plate. Left fielder Tony Kemp, listed at 5’6″, ranged back, timed his jump and crashed into the scoreboard while holding onto the ball. The catch prevented two runs from scoring which would have extended the Astros’ deficit. Instead, the score remained 2-1.
Kemp’s catch will certainly be in the running for the best play of the postseason.