09/20/12 1:26 AM ET
Disputed Dodgers run looms large in end for Nats
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
With the Dodgers leading, 5-0, Chien-Ming Wang on the mound and two outs, Matt Kemp ended up scoring the sixth run on a fielder's choice out by Hanley Ramirez.
On the replay, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman tagged Adrian Gonzalez before Kemp touched home plate, but home-plate umpire Alan Porter ruled that Kemp had already scored before the out was made.
"At the time, you don't think it's a big play. You just can't give away runs in the big leagues," Zimmerman said.
That turned out to be a huge play in the game because the Nationals lost on a homer by Kemp in the top of the ninth inning after they rallied for six runs to tie it in the eighth.
Porter was not available for comment, but Nationals manager Davey Johnson felt that sixth run should not have scored.
"In my mind, [Kemp didn't score]," Johnson said. "[The umpires] obviously blew the call. It wasn't reviewable. They all discussed it. Evidently, nobody was paying attention, but Kemp wasn't running. You would think when the three of them got together, somebody would have been paying attention. Kemp was not at home. They are not changing it. They had their meeting.
"There was nothing I could do. I raised a fuss. The umpire chief came over. I said, 'It's terrible you guys missed that. You better look on the replay and see how three of you missed it.' I can understand the third-base umpire looking at the tag."
Even Kemp hinted that that he shouldn't have scored.
"Yeah, it looked pretty close," he said. "I actually should've been running forward and not looking back. That was close. I don't know if I quite made it. We got lucky right there. We stole a run."
Nationals catcher Jesus Flores was stunned that Kemp scored on the play. According to Flores, Porter was confused by what was going on during the play. Porter thought the bases were loaded when there were really runners on second and third. Porter then went to his fellow umpires to help him with the call.
"I was totally in shock what was going on," Flores said. "Then I realized there was an argument at the plate. For me, it was really a bad call. ... Kemp wasn't even close [to home plate] before Zimmerman tagged Gonzalez."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.