This here image shows Ryan Zimmerman tagging out Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth inning Wednesday night. It was the third out of the inning. There was no force play. Matt Kemp was miles from home.
So his run shouldn’t have counted, and the inning should have ended with the Nats behind by five runs.
The umpires blew it, though, and gave the Dodgers a free run.
“At the time I guess you don’t think that’s a big play, but you can’t just give away runs in the big leagues,” Zimmerman said. “It was 5-0, and they just made it 6-0.”
At least one viewer knew the call was wrong at once.
“The run doesn’t count, he didn’t cross home plate before the out, that run should NOT count at home,” MASN’s F.P. Santangelo said immediately after the play, long before any replay was shown. “He wasn’t across home plate. We have a perfect view from here. Ryan Zimmerman tagged him out, [Kemp] was two steps from home, that run should not count. If they get it right, it’s a 5-0 game. Because the first thing you do when somebody’s tagged out, look and see if the runner’s hustling across home plate. He wasn’t. He pulled up. He was jogging in, a good three steps before home plate. There’s NO way that run should count. It’s not even close.”
And after the umpires conferred and gave the Dodgers a freebie, it was open season for the Nats broadcasters.
Radio man Dave Jageler began by saying “this is a case of...
“Four blind mice,” Charlie Slowes finished.
“Of umpires absolutely not watching, not anticipating, not paying attention,” Jageler said. “Matt Kemp was a step and a half from home plate when Ryan Zimmerman tagged Adrian Gonzalez out. This is a step and a half.”
“That was four umpires, it’s a fluky kind of play, but somebody’s got to watch,” Slowes said. “The home plate umpire, his job is to watch the runner crossing the plate.”
“Alan Porter did not even know that he was supposed to make a call, because Don Mattingly had to come out and ask Alan Porter, did the run count,” Jageler said. “Porter made no indication whether Kemp’s run counted or not, like he didn’t even know he had to make a call.”
“Like he forgot there was a runner at third,” Slowes agreed. “We all make mistakes every day, but that is about as ridiculously bad as it can be. That is completely unprofessional.”
“Now at this point it’s a 6-0 game instead of 5-0,” Jageler said. “So it does not look like it’s a big deal, but let’s see what happens.”
Indeed, you wouldn’t have thought it would matter. But after the Nats scored six in the eighth, it sure did. Santangelo and Bob Carpenter were also spot-on in predicting that this would be significant.
“May or may not end up being the deciding run in this game, but it’s a brutal call,” Carpenter said.
“With the way this team has come back all season long, it could turn out to be huge,” Santangelo agreed.
“I mean, this wasn’t even close,” Carpenter said.
“It wasn’t close and I saw it the first time, didn’t need a replay. I don’t know what the umpires were looking at,” Santangelo said. “There’s no way that run should count. It’s not even close. You’ve got four umpires that miss it? I understand if one guy’s looking at the play, he has to concentrate on the tag, but there’s three other guys that had nothing else to do right there and flat-out missed it.”
“Alan Porter blew it,” Carpenter said. “And it looked to me like he went out and asked for help, and none of the other guys saw it, either. ”
“All four umpires on the field, how can they all miss it?” Slowes asked on the radio. “How are they all asleep? One guy’s watching the play at third, the third-base umpire’s got to watch that play. What is everybody else doing?”
Related: Video: Nats lament loss to Dodgers