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Nationals drop 4-3 decision to Phillies: Overturned call plays big role in loss

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The Washington Nationals rallied to tie things up at 3-3 with the Philadelphia Phillies in the top of the eighth, but an overturned call in the bottom of the inning put the eventual winning run on base. Was Kevin Frandsen off first base on Ben Revere's grounder?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies' leadoff man Ben Revere ended up scoring the go-ahead run in the Phillies' 4-3 win in the bottom of the eighth tonight in Citizens Bank Park, a half-inning after Washington Nationals' second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera tied things up at 3-3 with a solo home run off Cole Hamels.

"I didn't know whether he was or wasn't. It was pretty close both ways. So, they deemed he was off..." -Matt Williams on overturned call in the eighth inning

Revere was originally called out at first on his grounder to short off Tyler Clippard, but the call was overturned after a replay challenge by Philly skipper Ryne Sandberg.

Ian Desmond fielded Revere's grounder and threw high to today's first baseman Kevin Frandsen, who appeared to make the stretch and the catch while keeping his back foot on the bag.

First base ump Gary Cederstrom called Revere out initially, but after it was reviewed in New York, they determined that the Nats' first baseman's left foot came off the base.


Revere was ruled safe. Desmond was charged with an error. Revere stole his 39th base off Clippard and Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos with Jimmy Rollins up and took third on Rollins' fly to right before scoring the go-ahead run on a sac fly to center by Carlos Ruiz.

Williams talked afterwards about the effort on the overturned call on Frandsen's part.

"It's hard for anybody," he said. "[Frandsen is] trying to keep his toe on the bag. We look at the replay on the board. I haven't seen it yet, we just got in, so I'll take a look at it and see if there would be anything that I would see differently. But, on the board, I didn't know whether he was or wasn't. It was pretty close both ways. So, they deemed he was off and then they stole second, got him over and got him in. They executed."

"We can see it one way and it doesn't mean that they're going to see it the same. So, they made the decision." -Matt Williams on call at first that was overturned

Phillies' closer Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth and retired the side in order to earn his 33rd save and give Philadelphia two straight wins over the NL East division leaders.

"It is what it is," Nationals' manager Matt Williams said of the call after the game.

"We can see it one way and it doesn't mean that they're going to see it the same. So, they made the decision."

The Nats fell behind 3-0 after six in the second game of three with the Phillies when Freddy Galvis, in the fifth, and Darin Ruf, in the sixth, hit one and two-run home runs, respectively, off Nationals' starter Gio Gonzalez.

Hamels threw six scoreless on just 59 pitches, but the Nationals rallied in the seventh, loading the bases with one down and scoring two runs on back-to-back RBI singles by Ramos and Frandsen.

Pinch hitter Danny Espinosa lined sharply to short for the second out of the Nats' seventh, but the bases were still loaded when Denard Span's groundout to first ended the threat.

"We had an opportunity with Danny up there and he hit bullet," Williams said.

"Could have been a different game. That's the way the game goes sometimes. We need to do a little bit better job of executing though. We need to make sure we stay on top of that."

Williams wasn't talking about any lack of execution in the seventh, but was instead referring to a missed opportunity earlier in the game. Kevin Frandsen singled to start the third in what was then a scoreless game, and took second on a wild pitch from Hamels to Gio Gonzalez.

Gonzalez failed to get a bunt down, however, and eventually struck out swinging away at a two-strike pitch. Williams said the pitcher missed a sign.

"We've got Gio [Gonzalez] at the plate and a ball gets by the catcher," Williams explained.

"We've got a man on second base and nobody out and we gave him the bunt sign and he swung away, so we have to make sure that we do that. And last night of course, the guy on second base and didn't get him over. [The Phillies] did a good job of that tonight in the last inning -- of getting [Revere] to third. That wins you games."

Two home runs and one manufactured run did the job for the Phillies tonight.

Was the loss any tougher to take after the Nationals battled back to tie it up?

"No, errors are going to happen," Williams said. "Again, the replay thing, you don't know. So, that will happen during the course of a game, and that's the way it is, so it doesn't make it any worse because we tied the score. We ended up losing, a loss is a loss, so go get them tomorrow."