A potentially dangerous situation turned into a strange curiosity instead thanks to recent safety improvements suggested by Major League Baseball.
Phillies infielder Cesar Hernandez's bat broke when he fouled off a pitch in the seventh, and a splintered piece of the lumber wound up dangling from the netting at Nationals Park that protects the seats behind home plate — staying there through game's end, out of reach of anyone on the ground.
During the off-season, Major League Baseball recommended extending safety netting in ballparks to prevent sharp hit balls or broken bats from entering the stands. The extended netting now goes up to the edge of the dugout.
"It is important that fans have the option to sit behind protective netting or in other areas of the ballpark where foul balls and bats are less likely to enter," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement at the time.
Wednesday's game was at Nationals Park. The Phillies also extended netting at Citizens Bank Park this season.