The NL East division leaders hit four home runs and scored seven runs total on 12 hits and somehow managed to lose 9-7 to the Mets. They also had a questionable play go against them late in the game, with the ambiguous, shifting slide rule regarding double plays at second base costing them an opportunity to start a rally, leading Nats' General Manager Mike Rizzo to get into a post-game shouting match with the umpire who made the call, Jim Joyce.
Rizzo later told reporters that he regretted the incident, which Major League Baseball is reportedly looking into.
"It was unfortunate," Rizzo told reporters, including MASN's Mark Zuckerman, when he spoke about the incident in Citi Field last night.
"I had words with the umpires after leaving the game last night. It was more about frustration of the inconsistency and ambiguity of the rules than it was about any specific call. There were three calls last night that were interpreted different ways. There was a call May 10 against the Detroit Tigers that was interpreted a different way. It was about that, and it was unfortunate."
After the Nationals' win in the second game of the series last night, manager Dusty Baker talked to reporters about how important the win was for the 52-36 Nats, who are one win away from the highest "first-half" win total in franchise history (2005-present), and how big it was to put the frustration of the series-opening loss behind them.
"There's nothing you can do about it," Baker said. "It's over. You can take it into tomorrow and still be affected by it, or you can keep pushing and keep pushing and we're pushing towards this first half here. We've got two more games to go and I just urged the guys, 'Give me all you got then you can take a break.' Then don't turn it off completely because you've got to turn it back on in a few days. Coming in here, we knew it was a big series. You can see by how Terry [Collins] is managing over there and how we manage over here that we all know that it's a very big series for both of us."
So it was a big win?
"Yeah," Baker explained. "I mean, cause now tomorrow is the same way we came in here. This was a two-game game today. Cause if they win our lead is down to 2.0.
"I know we've still got a long way to go, but I'd rather have 4.0 at this point than 2.0 and we'd like to get some more before we get out of here."
Here's the lineup that will try to make it two straight over the Mets tonight in Citi Field (weather permitting):