Jun 6, 2010, 4:25 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Brandon Phillips takes a retaliatory Miguel Batista fastball in the ribs in the ninth.
These Nationals don't like losing. These Nationals don't like opponents showing them up. And when both things happen on the same night, well, everybody leaves the ballpark in a sour mood.
That's perhaps the best way to describe the home clubhouse following this 5-1 loss to the Reds, a game that featured any number of infractions both in the pure baseball sense and also in the sportsmanship sense.
Once again, the Nats couldn't get a clutch hit. They put six men on base in the first four innings against Cincinnati rookie Mike Leake and failed to score one of them.
Once again, the Nats made mistakes in the field. They were charged with three errors, and though two of them were of an unconventional variety, they still brought this club's season total to an astounding 53 in 57 games. That's far and away the most in the majors and leaves the Nats on a pace to surpass last year's ridiculous total of 143 errors.
But that's not what this game will be remembered for. No, it will be remembered for three plays in the final two innings, all of them involving Brandon Phillips, all of them resulting in controversy.
Play No. 1: Phillips takes second on Sean Burnett's wild pitch in the eighth, rounds the base, makes contact with Ian Desmond en route to getting thrown out at third, but is awarded the base because Desmond is called for obstruction. That leads to Jim Riggleman's ejection, and ultimately allowed Phillips to score a key run on anotherRead more »
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