Spanning The Ages

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Denard Span has maintained since his arrival in the Nation’s Capital that he takes more pride in his defense than his offense. He has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the year, taking extra bases away from Joey Votto and Zack Cozart of the Reds, Carlos Ruiz and Darin Ruf of the Phillies, Jason Kubel of the Diamondbacks, and others.

Perhaps it’s because of all those other plays that we’ve seen over the course of his first season in a Nationals uniform, but when the ball left Hunter Pence’s bat with two on and two out in the top of the ninth Wednesday night, there was a sense of confidence that Span would find a way to track it down. Track it down he did, notching the catch of the year for Washington and securing the fifth straight win for the Nationals.

Like a walk-off home run, the game-saving grab stands out above other tremendous defensive plays more because of its situational importance than the shear athleticism involved. Because of the situation and the location of Span’s catch, it was most obviously evocative of Roger Bernadina’s game-saver in Houston last season. But where does Span’s snag rank among the top game-saving catches in franchise history? We’re letting you decide from among our favorites. Watch them below, then vote in the poll at the bottom of the post.

Span Saves The Day: 8.14.13

The Shark’s Disappearing Act: 8.8.12

Willie Harris Leaves Them Loaded: 4.10.10


It was the top of the 9th.

Indeed. Fixed!

Shark’s catch was tougher, but Span’s may end up more meaningful

Has to be the shark! Because that was a meaningful win, albeit against a bad team. This year, with 85 wins at most, and probably 3 back from a WC at best the SPANTASTIC catch is not that important. And nothing from 2

I like Bernadina’s because he saved Tyler Clippard. I do want the team to win, but I couldn’t care less about Soriano. I keep wishing the Nationals would score runs in the top of the 9th so it’s no longer a save situation for him!

Or in these games the bottom of the 8th!

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