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Ian Desmond: 'Pretty embarrassing' drop gives Mets win

4/6/2015

WASHINGTON -- Shortstop Ian Desmond took the blame for the dropped popup that ultimately upended the Washington Nationals on Opening Day.

With Max Scherzer working on a no-hit bid two outs into the sixth inning against the New York Mets, Desmond dropped David Wright's would-be inning-ending popup on the outfield grass behind second base.

Curtis Granderson, who had walked, advanced to third base as Wright scampered to second. Lucas Duda followed with the Mets' first hit -- a two-run single against Scherzer that gave the Mets the lead en route to a 3-1 win at Nationals Park.

Second baseman Dan Uggla had been signaling for the baseball, but Desmond did not hear the ex-Brave.

"I just went back and watched it," Desmond said postgame, referring to video of the play. "That was pretty embarrassing. I felt like one of those Little Leaguers. I just looked up and I didn't hear anything, so I just kept on going for it. I didn't want to let it hit the ground. So I was just like, 'I'm going to call it and try to get it.' But, looking back, Dan was camped underneath it. [I] should have just let him have it."

Said Uggla: "I wasn't loud enough. I've got to be louder in that situation. He's the shortstop. If he doesn't hear anything or see anybody underneath it, he's got to go after it. That's him being aggressive, and that's what makes him an awesome player. That's a situation where I've got to be louder and let him know that I'm camped underneath."

The Mets, being dominated by Scherzer, labeled themselves "fortunate" for getting an extra out and opportunity for Duda to deliver. They were being blanked 1-0 and no-hit at the time.

Duda drove a fastball into right-center to plate two runs.

"He's an outstanding pitcher," Duda said. "We're lucky we caught a break right there. And I was lucky enough to put the ball in play and score two. It was a fastball, and I just got enough barrel on it to shoot it in the outfield."

Wright hustled to second base on the popup, although he was frustrated en route. He and the Mets batters were having difficulty contending with Scherzer. And the shadows because of the 4:05 p.m. ET start made it even more difficult to pick up the baseball.

"I hit it and I was upset that I popped it up," Wright said. "But then I made my way down to first. I try to run everything out. As I hit first going to second, I saw a little confusion. So I wanted to make sure I got to second, at least.

"We were fortunate."