Eduardo Nunez seemed to be making progress in the field, committing just two errors in a 30-game stretch before Wednesday. But in the series finale against the Orioles, it was the bad old days all over again.
The utilityman is most comfortable at short, but he made two fielding errors in place of Derek Jeter, one on a tough short hop in the 11th that led to the game-winning run.
“I just had a bad game today,” Nunez said. “I’m not making an excuse. I’ve got to keep working hard. … I feel bad for my teammates.”
Nunez and Alex Rodriguez also couldn’t catch a wind-blown pop at the back of the mound in the third. The runner ended up scoring on a two-run homer.
But between the wind, the rain, the mist and the mud, A-Rod was willing to exonerate Nunez for this one.
“I don’t care if it was Ozzie Smith in his prime,” Rodriguez said. “Today he didn’t have a chance.”
Still, Nunez now owns a team-high 18 errors. First, he was having trouble throwing accurately with his strong arm. Then he was having trouble fielding. Ground balls can’t be an adventure. But Nunez is confident right now.
“When the season started,” he said, “I felt so bad about my defense. My confidence, too. But right now, I feel fine. I feel good.”
Associated Press photo