One part of last night’s blown call at home plate that Nationals manager Davey Johnson failed to mention after the game was that he actually received an apology from home plate umpire Alan Porter.
Porter blew a call in the top of the fourth inning, giving the Dodgers a run when Adrian Gonzalez was clearly tagged out before Matt Kemp crossed home plate.
The umpires declined to comment to reporters after the game, but Porter apparently fessed up to his error shortly after it happened.
“Actually, Alan did (apologize),” Johnson said. “He said, ‘I’m sorry I messed it up,’ after the inning. They’re good guys. I don’t have a beef with them. But like I said, sometimes when you miss one, get help. He got help, they still didn’t get it right.”
The Nats can’t formally protest the game because the ruling was a judgment call by the umpires and not a misinterpretation of a rule. Johnson did expect, however, that the league office heard something from someone within the Nationals organization.
“If I know anything about Mike Rizzo, I’m sure there was some follow-up,” Johnson said, “just to say that we would be open maybe to some video in certain plays like that.
“I’m not a big proponent of going to the video room all the time. The games are long enough. Maybe they have somebody up top in the press box looking down with all the video right there. They can just flash-card or something. ... Instead of (the umpires) running off the field and then looking, have one of them representatives up there up top.”
Johnson was asked about Tyler Clippard, who pitched in both games of the doubleheader yesterday. Clippard got the save in the first game, but served up the game-winning run in the ninth inning of the nightcap on a solo homer by Kemp.
“Well, his feelings are hurt,” Johnson said with a smile.
Clippard has allowed at least one run in four of his last seven outings, notching two losses in that time. His ERA has jumped from 2.69 on Sept. 2 to 3.22 entering today, but Johnson still likes what he sees from his closer.
“He’s in a good place,” Johnson said. “When you close, it’s feast or famine. With the doubleheader, he was good the first game. He’s been awfully resilient. I had another choice, I could’ve gone with Garcia. He was hot. But we’re in a pennant race. That’s what I normally do. I said I want Clip.”
Johnson said that Clippard is still available tonight even though he pitched twice yesterday, but if he comes into today’s game, Drew Storen would get a save opportunity if it presents itself tomorrow.