Nationals' Span puts team before health, beats out game-winning single
Denard Span has been struggling to overcome a variety of injuries this season, but that didn't stop him from giving every ounce of effort he had to propel the Washington Nationals to victory on Wednesday.
After the Nats bullpen shut down the New York Yankees in extra innings following a two-run homer from Nats left fielder Michael Taylor that tied the game in the eighth, Washington had a scoring opportunity in the top of the 11th after first baseman Tyler Moore singled to lead off the inning.
With two outs and Moore on third, Span, who has recently been dealing with a bad back, amongst other injuries, hit a high-bouncing chopper up the middle that was fielded by second baseman Stephen Drew.
Despite his battle with injuries, Span flew down the line and beat the throw to first for what would prove to be the game-winning RBI infield single.
His teammates were inspired by his selflessness following the game.
"It's awesome," Taylor said. "The fact that he can play through injuries like that and still produce. … He's a huge part of the team."
"We need him in the lineup," added Bryce Harper of Span. "He covers everything in center field, left-center, right-center. He has great at-bats. We need to have that in the lineup. It's tough to miss a leadoff guy who is a catalyst and is always on base and does so much for us. It's nice to have him in there."
In addition to a recent back injury, Span has also dealt with a sore knee this season and had two abdominal surgeries earlier this year.
"Got to get on my horses," he said of the play. "We need a win."
Wednesday's win halted the Nationals' losing streak at three games. The team's record currently sits at 31-28 after they've won only three out of their last 12 games.
(h/t CSN Washington)
Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images