It was an embarrassing play - surely the most embarrassing of Matt Curry's career - and once it happened, there was nothing the Curve first baseman could do but learn from it and try to move on.
"I made a bonehead play," Curry, still dejected from the mistake, said in a soft voice following the Curve's doubleheader loss Wednesday. "Hopefully it won't happen again."
Curry forgot how many outs there were in the sixth inning of game one and proceeded to make the most egregious mistake a fielder can make.
Harrisburg's Tim Pahuta opened the inning with a double, then Chris Rahl flew out to right field. The next hitter, Jesus Valdez, hit a pop foul down the right field line that Curry chased down and caught easily.
It was instantly clear that Curry was not aware of the situation because he showed no sense of urgency turning back to the infield to see if Pahuta was tagging up at second, which he did. The runner took off for third and would have made it easily since Curry was in no position to throw.
The worst part of the play for Curry followed a moment later, when he flipped the ball to a young fan in the stands.
There were only two outs, however, and since the runner was already going to third, he was awarded an extra base and was allowed to score for a 5-1 Senators lead. Harrisburg held on for a 5-3 win.
"I had just told myself there was one out and flashed it to the outfielders and everything," Curry said. "I just caught the ball, saw the kid say, 'Hey, give me the ball, I want the ball,' and just flipped it to him.
"It's like one of those plays in basketball when the guy's on the other team and he tries to fake you out and says, 'Pass it to me,' and you have that lapse, that moment and just lose focus."
Curry isn't the first baseball player to make that mistake and won't be the last. Still, it's the kind of mistake that is simply not acceptable in a game that requires mental concentration at all times.
"It's knowing what the situation is," Curve manager P.J. Forbes said. "We talk all the time about playing the game ahead. And if you're playing the game ahead, you know that there's only one out and the guy's tagging."
Forbes didn't like the communication from other players on the team on the play, either, and said they should have been yelling, "He's tagging, he's tagging" as Curry was going after the ball.
Curry had a chance to redeem himself later in the game. He came up with the two tying runs on base and two outs in the seventh and final inning, but instead of quickly going from goat to hero, he struck out to end the game.
Forbes sat Curry in the second game and said it was because of the mental mistake.
"We have to understand this game's 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical," the manager said. "He had a tough day, and hopefully he learns from it and we get better."
As Curry pointed out, there is a lot of failure in baseball, and the key is finding a way to get past mistakes, move on and still be a productive player.
He said his teammates kept coming up to him afterward trying to lift his spirits, which may have helped some but won't erase the embarrassing moment from Curry's memory.
"It's just a play that doesn't happen, and it just feels bad that it happened to you," he said.