Following a poor outing by Lucas Giolito in just his second start as a major league pitcher, the upset Washington Nationals left New York’s Citi Field still fuming at the team of umpires that called the game.
It was not just the players who were upset. Mike Rizzo the general manager of the Nationals got into a shouting match with Jim Joyce the crew chief for the weekend series with the Mets only moments after the last out.
Wilmer Flores hit a three-run home run that put the surging Mets in front and helped them beat the Nationals 9-7 Thursday night.
This was the opening game of a four-game set between New York and Washington and whittled the Nationals lead over the Mets to just three games.
The Nationals attempted to rally during the ninth inning but umpires called Jayson Werth for a takeout slide that was illegal at second that gave New York a double play after Asdrubal Cabrera dived to stop a sharp grounder hit by Daniel Murphy.
Werth after the game said he thought his slide was clean, noting that type of slide has been considered clean for more than 100 years.
Werth added that of the three other slides that went past the bag at second only his had any contact and that is the one they called illegal.
Therefore, he concluded that if the rule now is you cannot make any contact then MLB must clarify it.
Werth did not let up, he said he felt the rule on sliding changed day to day, series to series and this time inning to inning.
Umpires reviewed the play and it was upheld. Rizzo later could be seen shouting with Joyce the umpire who was at second base at the time. Security needed to be called to the tunnel between the two clubhouses.
Dusty Baker the Nationals manager said that he has heard as many as five different explanations of the rule and finds it impossible to teach the young players how they can break a double play up because there is no standard to go by.
With the win on Thursday, the Mets are 7-1 during their current home stand and are trailing by three games overall and just two in the loss column.
Now pundits are wondering if Rizzo will be disciplined by Major League Baseball for his shouting match with Joyce.