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Rafael Soriano criticizes Bryce Harper's positioning

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

In Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Giants, Nationals closer Rafael Soriano blew his third save of the season. The critical blow was a Gregor Blanco game-trying triple with two outs in the ninth:

And here, courtesy of USA Today, is what Soriano had to say about Bryce Harper's positioning on that play, via translation:

“With two outs and the tying run at first, you have to play the outfield so the ball doesn't go over your head,” Soriano said in Spanish.

“It may not have been a catchable ball, but if we're positioned the right way, there might have been a different outcome. With two outs, I could tell my four-year-old son, ‘You know where you need to play,' and he would go to the right spot to make the play. It's not an excuse, and I'm not speaking badly about anybody, but I think that's how you play the game.”

That's pretty candid stuff, although this criticism is probably leveled more at the coaching staff than directly at Harper, since I highly doubt an excitable 20-year-old was allowed to position himself at such a critical juncture. It's true that with two outs and a runner on first that you don't want any balls over your head, but Gregor Blanco and his career .336 SLG aren't exactly known for bringing the thunder.

Of course, the break on the pitch pretty much put it on a tee for Blanco, so one might be tempted to respond to Soriano's complaints with a hearty "doctor, heal thyself."

(Wink of CBS Eye: Hardball Talk)

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