Eaton's beard -- not a typo -- prevents catch

Unconnected, Nats OF suffers finger bruise, to be re-evaluated

September 16th, 2020

When Joey Wendle cracked a line drive into right field at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, was all over it. He outstretched his glove and hurled himself for a diving catch in the second inning of the Nats’ 4-2 win in 10 innings over the Rays.

The ball landed in his glove, but it bounced out after it hit his face. No catch.

“His beard knocked it out,” Rays broadcaster Brian Anderson said on replay. “It was in that glove, and the Adam Eaton beard poked it loose, caused the fumble.”

Eaton’s defensive approach was on point, though. He needed to cover 67 feet in 4.1 seconds, and he got a jump that was 4.1 feet above average on it. Wendle’s shot had a 45 percent catch probability, which would have given the veteran outfielder a four-star catch had he connected.

The Nationals revealed after the win that Eaton was playing banged up during that defensive play. In his at-bat in the top of the same inning, Eaton sustained a bruised finger on a bunt attempt, manager Dave Martinez said.

Eaton did not take another at-bat but remained in the game until Josh Harrison replaced him in right field in the bottom of the fourth. Eaton will be re-evaluated on Thursday, the Nationals’ off-day.