Monday, March 30, 2009

Willie Harris, Outfielder (Reprise)

Just sharing this from Harlan today as a reminder that Willie Harris is a good player only really if used as an outfielder. If he's used primarily as an infielder, he is below average defensively, and of course he's really nothing special at the plate regardless.
Let's review why Willie Harris is having a tough day: The do-it-all utility player is starting today at second base. First he messed up a play he'd make 99 times out of 100, and then, three innings later, he messed up a similar (but tougher) play -- so hey, maybe he makes it 98 times out of 100.

In the second inning, Mike Hessman popped one up just behind first base, just foul. Adam Dunn was camping under it, but at the very last moment, Harris yelled loudly, "I've got it! I've got it!" Dunn stepped out of the way. Harris realized too late that he'd misjudged the ball, and ended up making a last-second lunge, in a motion that brought to mind somebody diving out of the way of a train. The ball plunked to the ground, foul. (Hessman later struck out.)

In the fifth, Harris chased after another pop in foul territory. This one was about 20 feet deeper, and would have required some serious backpedaling from Dunn; thus, there was no doubt -- this ball was for Harris. But this time, he seemed to overrun the pop. Again, it fell to the ground, foul.

As for the game update... the Nats trail 3-2 in the sixth. Joe Beimel pitched the final two outs in the fifth, and is on for at least another inning.

Shairon Martis's final line:

4-1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 94 pitches (60 strikes)

WAIT -- awesome update...

Just as I was about to "publish" this post, there was a pop hit by Detroit's first batter of the sixth. It was just beyond the second base bag. Cristian Guzman yielded ground to Harris... and as the ball plunged toward Harris's mitt, you could hear the crowd at Space Coast murmur.


Harris snagged the pop.

The stadium roared.

He gripped his glove with his right hand, as if holding a treasure, and then pumped his fist into the air.

The applause continued.

Harris took a bow.

There won't be a funnier P-4 all year.

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