ATLANTA On paper, it was a mismatch.
In one corner, a strong-armed right fielder (Jayson Werth) stood roughly 160 feet from home plate, poised for the easy catch, with his feet and hips squarely pointing to the target.
In the other corner, a stout-looking catcher (Gerald Laird) prepared for the race of his life, from third base to home plate and without a running start.
With the score knotted at 2 in the seventh inning, and the Braves and Nationals dueling in the first of four potentially grueling games at Turner Field, that seemingly uneventful matchup of Werth From 160 Feet Momentum vs. Laird ended up being a rout all right ... in the catcher's favor.
Just milliseconds after Andrelton Simmons' sacrifice-fly, Werth's post-catch throw to home plate was slightly off-line to the left, allowing Laird enough time and space to score the game-deciding run. And with that, he helped vault the Braves to a sterling 3-2 victory over the Nationals, before a boisterous crowd of 22,870.