Bill Ladson

Baker feels Difo will learn from baserunning blunder

Baker feels Difo will learn from baserunning blunder

WASHINGTON -- A baserunning blunder by Nationals infielder Wilmer Difo proved costly during a 4-3 loss to the Mets at Nationals Park on Tuesday night.

After the Nationals tied the score at 3 in the ninth inning on an infield single by Wilson Ramos, manager Dusty Baker decided to use Difo, 24, as a pinch-runner for Ramos.

Ramos' game-tying RBI single

The Nationals had runners on first and second with one out and Mets closer Jeurys Familia on the mound when pinch-hitter Clint Robinson hit a line drive to second baseman T.J. Rivera, who caught the ball, and then doubled Difo off first base.

Difo didn't think Rivera caught the ball, but rather that it had one-hopped the second baseman, and he kept running toward second base. Difo wondered why second-base umpire Scott Barry made the out sound so quickly.

"As a pinch-runner, I come not wanting to be part of a double play," Difo said. "But that particular play was pretty tough or hard to read. I wanted to avoid a double play and to pay attention with runners in front of me. … I thought I had seen the ball hit the ground."

Baker thought Difo was trying too hard on the bases, but that he would learn from the mistake that he made.

"His run didn't mean anything. That's what happens sometimes, especially when you are excited and you are a kid," Baker said. "Sometimes, young players make the mistakes, and hopefully they will learn from it."

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.