The Washington Nationals (51-43) hoped to get the second half of the season off to a strong start, but the Milwaukee Brewers (54-43) had other thoughts. Denard Span had a strong night, and Bryce Harper featured a new batting stance, but it wasn’t enough, as the Brewers beat the Nats 4-2.
It didn’t take long for the second half of the season to get interesting. Now, how can I explain this? After Span reached first base, he beat a throw to second on a hit and run, and Anthony Rendon was thrown out at first. Then, second base umpire Angel Campos called Span out on interference, making it a double play.
After an extremely long conference between the umpires, the umps called Span out and Rendon safe. The explanation that MASN reporter Dan Kolko gave on the air was that the interference was unintentional, which makes it sort of a “dead ball” situation. So, Span was out at second, but Rendon was given first base. This is still a ludicrous ruling to me, but there you go.
The start of the second half didn’t treat Stephen Strasburg very well, either. He gave up solo home runs in each of the first two innings and gave up two more runs in the third to put the Nats in a 4-0 deficit. He did turn it around, ultimately going seven innings of seven hit, nine strikeout baseball, but he put his team in an early hole.
The Nats finally made something of an opportunity in the fourth inning after a Ryan Zimmerman double. Ian Desmond hit one into center field to score him and reached second on the play. It was called a double, though it was pretty clear that Carlos Gomez should’ve been charged with an error on the play.
Harper got on the board in the ninth with his third home run of the season. Before the game, not only did I predict that home run, I predicted his whole stat line, which absolutely freaks me out.
— Joe Drugan (@TheNatsBlogJoe) July 19, 2014
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)