Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/16/12

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Nationals manager Davey Johnson earned his first ejection of the season after arguing an awful call at first base by umpire Marvin Hudson on Saturday.

Braves left fielder Martin Prado was leading off the bottom of the sixth and hit a come-backer to pitcher Edwin Jackson. The ball went off Jackson’s glove, but he recovered and threw to first to get Prado by a step. Or so we thought.

Umpire Marvin Hudson called Prado safe at first, leaving the Nats in disbelief. He apparently ruled that first baseman Adam LaRoche’s foot wasn’t on the bag, which not only was incorrect, but also a difficult call for him to make based on where he was standing:

LaRoche began arguing the call, and Johnson soon followed. Johnson said after the game that he wanted the out-of-place Hudson to appeal to another umpire for help with the call.

“I’ve got old eyes and I could see it,” Johnson said. “I thought he overreacted. He wasn’t going to get any help. It was a big run.”

Johnson said “it was a big run” because the next batter, Jason Heyward, hit a home run to tie the game 4-4. Had Prado been correctly called out, the Nats would still have led the game 4-3 after Heyward’s blast. The Nats ended up losing 5-4.

This is the second time in a week an umpire made a bad call to cost a team in a playoff race.

I don’t know if umpires are getting worse, or if we just happen to have improved technology that allows mistakes to be publicized easier, but umpires are missing too many calls. Baseball needs expanded replay.

Big thanks to LBS contributor Rey for the tip

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