Markakis' record errorless streak ends
Braves right fielder misplays leadoff single by Span in first inning
WASHINGTON -- The simple manner with which it ended provided an even greater appreciation for how disciplined and fundamentally sound Braves right fielder Nick Markakis was while setting a Major League record for consecutive errorless games completed by an outfielder.
Markakis' record streak was snapped at 398 games when he mishandled a leadoff single that allowed Denard Span to advance to second base in the first inning of Thursday's 7-0 loss to the Nationals. It was just the sixth error the two-time Gold Glove Award winner has committed since the start of the 2010 season and the first since Aug. 10, 2012.
"Most people think it's easy to do in right field, just throw the ball to the cutoff man and catch fly balls," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But there are so many other components. Today was about as routine of a ground ball as you can get. It took a little bit of a hop and Span took the extra base and it's an error. That's how easy it can be. It's really remarkable what Nick has done, because a very simple play can be an error."
Markakis set the Major League record for outfielders last week when he ran his errorless streak to 393 games. Cleveland's Michael Brantley is the only other Major Leaguer who has committed just one error while logging at least 3,000 innings as an outfielder going back to the beginning of Markakis' record streak.
"I've played with some guys who have had similar streaks at their own positions and guys tend to be a little more careful and a little defensive because they don't want to make an error," Braves utility man Kelly Johnson said. "I don't ever see that with Nick. Nick still runs in and charges balls. He tries to make the right play, he's not laying back."