In the eighth inning of today’s 14-inning marathon, the Nationals nearly took the lead.
In fact, it sure looked like they did take the lead.
Two batters after Ian Desmond’s two-out home run tied the game in the eighth, Tyler Moore came burning around third base, heading for home on Adam LaRoche’s pinch-hit single to right. Just as Yankees catcher Russell Martin received a throw from right fielder Dewayne Wise, Moore dove (or should I say bellyflopped) head-first towards the plate.
Moore extended his left hand as his face nearly hit the dirt, and replays showed he touched the dish before Martin could apply the tag.
Home plate umpire Tim Timmons didn’t see it that way. Timmons called Moore out, ending the inning and sending the game to the ninth with the score tied 3-3.
“That’s part of baseball,” manager Davey Johnson said. “I couldn’t actually see where the tag was, but I said (to Timmons), ‘You know, he touched home plate with his hand.’ I don’t know if he was in position to see that right away. He said, no, he saw it.”
A still shot of the play, captured by The Post’s Dan Steinberg on Twitter, shows that Moore was indeed safe. It’s Timmons’ job to get the call right, but it was certainly a bang-bang play, one which could have gone in either direction.
It went in the Yankees’ direction, and they ended up earning the win.
“I didn’t check out the replay yet,” Moore said of the call. “It felt like I got a good jump on the ball. We were just unfortunate in not getting that call.
“I thought I got in there, but you know. ... It’s just unfortunate it didn’t go our way.”
Thanks to that out call - and plenty of missed opportunities by both teams - we got a 14-inning contest that lasted 4 hours, 49 minutes. The Nats made two errors, blew a fairly standard double play opportunity and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees went a ridiculous 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left 13 on base.
“It was obviously a close play,” Desmond said. “I haven’t looked at the replay. But Tim did a good job back there today. And he’s one of the better umpires in the league. I’m sure once you look at it, he’ll see what happened and go from there.
“We had other opportunities to win that ball game. Obviously we would have liked that, but life goes on.”