Boxscore and Play by Play (courtesy of baseball-reference.com)
Daniel Nava was called up before the June 12th game against the Philadelphia Phillies to replace Josh Reddick on the Major League roster. At the age of twenty-seven, Nava had reached the major leagues at last. It was already a feel-good story. It was about to feel even better.
Daniel Nava had not been able to stick with his team at
This was the story that was repeated whenever the press spoke of Daniel Nava. He was the kid who was dubbed too small and told to give up, but never did. When Daniel Nava got the start on
Their leading story in the first inning was Scott Atchison, who started the game when Daisuke Matsuzaka was unable to pitch.
The first time the national broadcast cameras focused on him was during the second inning. Phillies catcher Brian Schneider hit a sharp groundball down the third baseline and Nava misplayed the ball as it ricocheted of the wall that runs down the foul line. With a man on first and second, the resulting double scored two runs for the Phillies. It is hard to tell if this small gaffe had any effect on the play. The hit was certainly an RBI double. Had Nava fielded it cleanly, he may have held the second runner at third. If it had any effect at all, it was short lived.
He reached the plate for the first time in the second inning, facing the Phillies starter Joe Blanton with no one out and the bases loaded. A leadoff home run by J.D. Drew had made the score 2-1 in favor of Philly. As Daniel Nava stepped to the plate, announcer Dick Stockton gave a quick version of the usual story. Blanton took the sign from Schneider--fastball away--and came set. The 90 mph fastball was off target to the inside and Nava turned on it. His smooth upper cut swing connected perfectly and the ball sailed 397 feet into the Red Sox bullpen. It was the very first pitch the former Independent League castaway saw in the major leagues. Fenway exploded. With just one pitch of major league experience under his belt, Daniel Nava had to answer his first curtain call. Every other story fell by the wayside that day.
Welcome to the Show, Daniel Nava! We’re glad you made it.