The Shark had a game to remember, offensively, defensively, and chain-link-fencively. While the Nats couldn't pull out the victory, falling 5-4 to the Marlins in their third consecutive extra inning game, the Shark did his part. I predicted earlier that the Shark was going to rudely welcome the Marlins to DC and boy was I on the money for that one (ignore the fact that I claim similar things for the Nats opponent every game)!
Offensively, the Sharkplug went 3 for 5, with a walk, 2 singles and a double. Did I mention that the double was of the game tying variety (clearly I didn't)? Well it was. Down by two in the forth, with ducks on the pond (a shark favorite) Bernadina crushed a double to left center to tie the game at 4. To further embarrass the Marlins, he promptly stole third. Tonights game brought his batting average up to a team high .320 (only Ryan Zimmerman (on the DL) and Jesus Flores (2 total ABs) have higher BA but they don't count at the moment) and his SB count to 4 (tied for 3rd most on the team).
Defensively, the Shark set a standard for CF! If you haven't already seen this video of "The Catch," you need to watch it now (or at least look at these frame by frame shots by the Nationals Enquirer). With two on and two outs, Mike Stanton crushed a ball to deep center field. Adam Kilgore's article describes what happens next well, "He bolted back, with time for maybe a dozen steps. “The only thing I could do is dive [like a shark],”Bernadina said. He soared, his body parallel to the ground [and his dorsal fin whistling through the air]. He snared the ball with the tip of his glove. As he crashed to the turf, white poked from the top of his black glove. The disbelieving crowd gasped, unsure how he had made that play." Roger Bernadina saved two runs and cemented his legacy as the Shark. Seriously, watch "The Catch" now.
While I missed hearing/seeing/following 'The Catch' live (I was at the Tigers/Royals game...), the reactions to "The Catch" helped me understand the sheer beauty of the play. Here are a few of my favorite reactions-
- @federalbaseball - OMS!! OMS!! Oh MY SHARK!! Roger "The Shark" Bernadina with a snow-cone catch at the track, robs Mike Stanton of RBI's and extra bases.
- @DCmadness22 - Roger Bernadina's catch. Wow....
- @im_dillard - Bernadina's catch gave me goosebumps.
- @ouij - SHARK! #nats what a catch
- @GreatWhiteShark - I wish I was Roger Bernadina
- @HammerheadShark - Me too RT @GreatWhiteShark I wish I was Roger Bernadina
Welcome aboard Ben. Any and all are welcome on the Shark Express. Next goal: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (if you saw his post, he didn't use any shark-puns or call Bernadina the Shark once in the whole article...Even after seeing "The Catch??"...Come on, Kilgore!)
Finally, the below file photo shows that Bernadina does practice making catches. Though, he usually has a softer landing.
More to come.