May 29, 2010, 6:50 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Josh Willingham continued his hot streak with a three-run homer.
SAN DIEGO — When Jim Riggleman arrived at Petco Park this afternoon, he never thought he'd wind up reading the fine print of The Official Rules of Baseball, Rule 3.05(a) and 3.05(c).
You never know what's going to happen when you show up at the ballpark these days. You might see one team play under protest because the other team submitted a lineup card with a starting pitcher who was in the minor leagues. You might see the toughest home-run park in the majors surrender two big blasts. You might see the most-successful closer in the big leagues allow four straight singles to open the bottom of the ninth, put the game-winning run on first and then pitch his way out of the jam.
And sometimes you might just see all of that take place in the span of 2 hours and 29 minutes.
The Nationals' 5-3 victory over the Padres featured no shortage of unusual events, some which left everyone scrambling for the nearest copy of the rule book, some which just left everyone biting their fingernails with tension.
Where to begin with this one? How about at the beginning, since that's when the night's first oddity developed. San Diego starter Clayton Richard cruised through the top of the first with no trouble, and the two teams swapped sides, with John Lannan strolling to the mound for his first inning of work.
But what was this? Why are the umpires huddling with Riggleman, and why are they all looking at their lineup cards? Did someone make a mistake?
Oh, did they. The Padres inexplicably listed their starting pitcher and No. 9 hitter as right-hander Adam Russell. Who had been optioned to Class AAA Portland earlier in the day. Obviously, he didn't pitch theRead more »
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