Nats Defeat the Braves and Umps in Bizarre Ending

Photo: @dcuniverse

By Michael Marzzacco

The Nationals defeated the Braves… twice. No I’m not talking about a doubleheader. With Shawn Kelley on the ropes with the bases loaded and a run already surrendered in the ninth, the Nats were holding on by a narrow 3-1 lead. Kelley struck out Chase d’Arnaud to end the game. With catcher Matt Wieters unable to hold the ball, all he had to do was step on the plate to end the game. He did. Game over. Or was it?

The umpires met up and decided that the game ending strike three was actually a foul tip. Video replay doesn’t lie and I’m not trying to sound biased but that was a clear strike.

So the game was in reset but Kelley was still able to get his strikeout on the very next pitch but it could have turned out to be a disaster if Kelley had surrendered a hit. Jayson Werth was called out on strikes earlier in the contest in another questionable call by home plate umpire CB Bucknor.

Werth yelled at Bucknor after the final out was recorded.

Johnny and Ray weren’t having it either.

Has veteran manager Dusty Baker seen a bizarre ending like this before?

“Nope. Never. The explanation that I got was that he (the batter) had a foul tip but he (the ump) didn’t see it hit the ground but the other umpire said it hit the ground but from where I was it looked like he missed it (by) a foot. That’s why they tell you when you end the game you gotta say something right away before everybody gets off the field… it was kind of a rough night all the way around,” Baker told reporters.

Werth is a veteran as well. Here’s what he had to say about the whole thing:

“This is like my 14th year in the big leagues. You see a lot of things, but when it’s consistently not with the standards of the league, I think something needs to be done. I just can’t believe that every time it’s the bottom of the barrel. Every time. I know I’m handcuffed there.” said Werth. “I can’t say a whole lot. I don’t want to get suspended. But these games are serious. That’s the thing. These games mean a lot. The game is over, and all of a sudden it’s not over. I’m not even talking about balls and strikes or anything else. It just blows my mind that in a big league baseball game that can actually happen.”

Here are some more highlights:
A Bryce Harper double.

In the following inning, Wilmer Difo drove home Wieters with a double into right field. Adam Eaton followed with a base hit to center field that scored Difo. In the eighth, the Nats got their final run with a double by Ryan Zimmerman into right field that scored Harper.

The Braves got their lone run when closer Blake Treinen, who continued his struggles recording outs, walked former Nat Kurt Suzuki with the bases loaded. The Nats turned to Kelley from there to close it out.

Max Scherzer had the start on the mound and the Nats’ ace went seven innings allowing no runs, two hits, three walks while striking out seven. He’s tied for the National League lead in strikeouts.

Today the three-game series continues as Joe Ross makes his season debut. First pitch is at 7:35.


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