Nationals Park netting stops broken bat from flying into stands (vid)
The extended netting installed at Nationals Park once again saved the day Wednesday night when it prevented Cesar Hernandez’s broken bat from flying into the stands.
During the top of the 7th inning of Wednesday’s game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies, a pitch from Gio Hernandez got in a bit on the Phillies second baseman’s hands, breaking the bat and sending a huge shard of it hurtling towards the seats along the third base line.
The splintered chunk of lumber got harmlessly lodged in the extended netting, and thankfully a potentially injurious disaster was averted.
Major League Baseball this past offseason issued new recommendations concerning protective netting after several high-profile incidents last season when fans were seriously injured. Several teams have followed the league’s suggestions and extended the netting at their ballparks before this season to better protect the fans seated closest to the field.
While there have been some very outspoken critics of extending the netting at major league ballparks, incidents such as this one arguably make the case that even if the fans were paying close attention to the action, injuries nevertheless may have been unavoidable in a situation like the one that played out on Wednesday night at Nationals Park, not to mention what happened there on one other occasion already this season.