Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/20/12

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The Nationals are fighting to maintain the lead in the NL East and top spot in the NL for the playoffs, so they can hardly afford mistakes by their players, much less ones by the umpires. But that’s what they dealt with on Wednesday night.

The Dodgers were up 5-0 in the bottom of the 4th and had runners on second and third with two outs. Hanley Ramirez grounded a ball to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who tagged out Adrian Gonzalez who was going from second to third. Zimmerman tagged out Gonzalez for the final out before Matt Kemp, who was on third, reached home plate, as you can see in the image below:

Because Gonzalez was tagged out before Kemp touched home, the inning should have ended with the score remaining 5-0. However, the umpires huddled to talk over the play at manager Don Mattingly’s request, and ultimately ruled that Kemp scored before Gonzo was tagged out. Obviously they blew that call by at least 10 feet.

Had they been given a chance to review the play on replay, they would have known to end the inning without giving the Dodgers the run. But since there’s no replay, they had to make a guess, and they got it wrong by a mile. The run was extremely costly, too. Despite being down 6-0, the Nats put together a six-run 8th to tie the game before Kemp beat them with a home run in the 9th. The Dodgers won it 7-6.

If you’re keeping score at home, you’ll note this is the second time in a week that the Nationals have been on the wrong end of a horrible call by the umpires. They were also hosed an awful call against the Yankees in June.

So, MLB, can we finally get instant replay to review these types of calls? Don’t you want to get the calls right to avoid this embarrassment?

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