Questionable obstruction call hands Phillies win over Nationals originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
WASHINGTON — The Nationals lost the second game of their doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night in extra innings, where an obstruction call loomed large over the 8-7 final.
With Nationals reliever Steve Cishek on the mound, J.T. Realmuto came to the plate with Rhys Hoskins on second, Kyle Schwarber at third and one out. The Phillies’ catcher hit a groundball up the middle that shortstop Luis García dove toward. However, Hoskins collided with him on his way to third and the ball made its way into center field.
Schwarber scored easily, but Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan waved Hoskins home and Lane Thomas threw him out by a wide margin. That proved to be a savvy send by Wathan, as second base umpire Dan Iassogna ruled that García obstructed Hoskins and the run counted to give Philadelphia an 8-6 lead.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez climbed out of the dugout to argue with Iassogna, who told a pool reporter after the game that the umpires felt García had already attempted to make the play and should’ve then ceded the basepath to Hoskins.
“To be honest, with all due respect I just don’t agree with the call,” García said through an interpreter after the game.
“I was still trying to field the ball.”
Martinez was irate, pointing to the grass to show where the ball was when the two players collided. He was ultimately ejected, the 10th time in his managerial career he’s been thrown out.
“Everything,” Martinez said in his postgame press conference when asked what he was frustrated with on the play. “It was interference, and then they gave obstruction to Luis. So if he gets obstruction, he’s awarded third base. He’s not awarded home. After he touches third base and he rounds the base, to me it’s fair game. He got thrown out by 40 feet.
“So what are we doing? Really? What are we doing? He told me that Luis had plenty of time to catch the ball. The ball was in front of Luis when he ran into Hoskins. So what are we doing? Honestly, what are we doing?”
Replay backed up Martinez’s claim about the placement of the ball at the time of contact. Yet the pivotal ruling was placing Hoskins at home despite being thrown out by Thomas. The umpires determined that Hoskins would’ve scored, dismissing the possibility of there being a bang-bang play at the plate.
“By rule, if we felt like he was in the act of fielding the ball, then we wouldn’t have called obstruction,” Iassogna said. “But we felt like he already had an opportunity to field the ball, and then the contact occurred afterward. And then now it’s on the defense to get out of the way of the offensive player. And then we felt that because of the contact, Hoskins would have scored without the contact. That’s why we placed him at home.”
With the loss, Washington dropped its seventh game in a row to fall to 23-45 on the season. The Phillies moved to 35-31, eight games back of the New York Mets in the NL East.