Having exhausted all their position players by the top of the 10th inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers leaned on Will Smith to play first base for the first time in his professional career.
That initially went off without a hitch, but Trea Turner — still adjusting to playing second base — and Smith couldn’t connect on what would have been the final out in the bottom of the 11th. Turner’s throwing error with the bases loaded instead resulted in a 3-2 walk-off win for the San Francisco Giants.
“It was a little bit higher throw. I was stretched out fully for it, I thought I kept my foot on. Umpires thought otherwise,” Smith said after loss.
“I went back and looked at replay and it’s pretty close. Couldn’t overturn it, I guess. I think if they called him out on the field he would’ve been out on the replay. Tough way to lose.”
While Smith played some Minor League games at third base, there was not record of him ever officially doing so at first base, including his time in college. Smith described his experience at the position as, “Not a lot.”
However, he added, “I feel athletic enough to play any position on the field.”
Best he could recall, Smith said he played some first base during scrimmages in college and fielded grounders there during workouts over recent years. “I wasn’t too out of place over there,” he said.
“Yeah, I’m not a Major League first baseman, but I still feel like I can do what’s needed to be done.”
Turner’s perspective on throw to Smith
Turner took accountability for his error and noted he, “Just pulled off a little too much.”
“It sucks, obviously, when we’re playing for a division and these are the guys we have to track down. These games are big. It was a good and long battle. Unfortunately, we couldn’t come out on top. That play could have given us another chance and I need to make that play.”
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