Nationals' Matt Williams wins challenge, but Nats drop 2-0 decision to Rangers

Greg Fiume

The Washington Nationals were actually able to get a run erased via replay in the first inning today, but the Texas Rangers ended up scoring two more in their 2-0 win in Nationals Park. Williams talked about the challenged play after the game...

In the top of the first inning of this afternoon's game between the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers, a lack of hustle on the part of Elvis Andrus actually cost the visiting team a run in what ended up a tightly-contested 2-0 win for the Rangers.

With runners on first and third and two down after back-to-back, one-out singles by Andrus and Alex Rios and a swinging K by Adrian Beltre, Rios broke for second on a 1-2 pitch from Nats' starter Tanner Roark to Rangers'  first baseman for the day, Donnie Murphy.

"He was initially ruled safe at second and then ruled out after he came off the base. So my contention was that he was ruled out before the run scored." -Matt Williams on challenged play in the first inning

Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos threw through, going for the out at second, but the throw arrived a step late.

Rios slid in safely, but came off the bag.

Danny Espinosa applied the tag and got the third out, but it appeared that Andrus scored before the out was recorded.

Matt Williams didn't think so. Rangers' skipper Ron Washington thought Rios was safe at second. Both managers challenged the calls on the field.

"I challenged the fact that he hadn't crossed the plate," Williams told reporters after the game.

"He was initially ruled safe at second and then ruled out after he came off the base. So my contention was that he was ruled out before the run scored. They signaled that the run had counted, so I challenged that.

"Ron, I guess, was challenging the fact that he was safe at second. He initially motioned safe and then motioned out. My challenge was that he hadn't crossed the plate yet. So when I came out there, we discussed that and decided to challenge it."

"He's got the right to challenge anything that he likes, the opposing manager does," Williams continued. "But I just wanted to make sure that my eyes weren't deceiving me. I thought the signal at second base was before the runner touched home plate. So that was my challenge."

"I think it helps with us getting everything right on the field and I think it's important for your team to be able to have that available to them..." -Matt Williams sharing his thoughts on replay in baseball

When clips of the play at second and Andrus coming home were placed side-by-side on MASN's broadcast it was clear that the out was recorded at second long before Andrus scored.

The Nationals won the challenge, but ended up losing the game, 2-0.

The Nats' first-year skipper was asked afterwards what he thought of the replay rules overall.

"I think it helps with us getting everything right on the field and I think it's important for your team to be able to have that available to them," Williams said.

"Today was an example. And sometimes it goes your way, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's conclusive and sometimes it isn't, but to have it available gives you an option, so in that respect I think it's a good thing."

• We talked about the challenged play, Yu Darvish's dominance and more on the this afternoon's edition of Nats Nightly:

Find Additional Baseball Podcasts with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio
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