I’m OK with Anthony Rendon not laying out to save Max Scherzer’s perfect game

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Max Scherzer pitched a whale of a game yesterday. By most measures the best game in Washington Nationals history, striking out sixteen souls and allowing only one hit.

“But let’s dwell on that hit,” some folks seem to want to think, and recount the ball that fell in off of Carlos Gomez’s bat. Clinton Yates of the Washington Post on Anthony Rendon’s effort:

He didn’t dive, though. The ball fell in, and ended up as the only hit of the game. Having watched this play nearly three dozen times since it happened, I still can’t figure out why Rendon didn’t lay out to catch that ball.

If you didn’t see it, here’s the hit.

I can think of a few reasons Rendon didn’t lay out. Of one, it was 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh, meaning that a bloop single isn’t all that important. At least not worth risking the health of a guy who missed a couple of months with knee problems and an oblique strain in the service of some pointless effort to prevent a hit that, a neat bit of history aside, would have little actual significance. Plus, I’ve watched it three times now and I don’t think Rendon catches it on a back-to-the-infield lay out catch anyway. What say you, Mr. Yates?

Honestly, I don’t think Rendon would have caught it anyway.

I guess we’re done here.