For the second straight night, the late innings are getting a little hot here at Nationals Park, and again, Ian Desmond was at the center of it.
Desmond was called for obstruction in the eighth inning when Brandon Phillips ran past him on his way to third after a wild pitch. Phillips would have been out, but third-base umpire Dan Bellino ruled Desmond impeded his path to the base and called obstruction. Manager Jim Riggleman was tossed from the game arguing the call.
Then, when the Nationals tried to throw Phillips out on a grounder to Desmond, he barreled into Wil Nieves, knocked the ball out and thumped his chest. Ivan Rodriguez, standing near Riggleman's customary spot, yelled a few things at the Reds' dugout and shot a long glare in that direction. Phillips bats third in the ninth, so don't be surprised if he gets plunked.
Meanwhile, the Nationals are down 5-1 in the eighth, after the Reds scored three in the eighth to split open a game Luis Atilano effectively kept close. They've made three more errors tonight, including the Desmond obstruction, and now have 54 this season. Their defensive range might be better, but the Nationals again lead the majors in errors.