Replay confirms call on Nats-Braves play at plate
In seventh inning, umpires check collision rule as Atlanta gets LaRoche at home
ATLANTA -- The Nationals were unable to get a boost from instant replay in the top of the seventh inning, while the Braves got what proved to be a huge out in their 7-6 win in 10 innings at Turner Field on Friday night.
With the score tied at 5, the Nationals had runners on first and second base when right-hander Jordan Walden threw a wild pitch with Bryce Harper at the plate. It took catcher Evan Gattis a while to locate the ball as Adam LaRoche attempted to score from second. However, Gattis located the ball quickly enough to throw LaRoche out at the plate, with Walden covering home and applying the tag.
The umpires reviewed the play and checked for a violation of Rule 7.13 regarding collisions at home plate. After review, the call was confirmed. There was no violation, LaRoche was out and the inning came to an end.
"It was very, other than the ball getting away, it was crazy, but we got the out," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Gattis going after the ball and going after it aggressively and making a throw to the plate, those are never easy for a pitcher who's [covering]. They really get that play in Spring Training. You practice that play. Other than that, you may get one every 100 games or so. But good play on both ends."
Nationals manager Matt Williams, who initially came out to challenge before the umpires made the decision to review, didn't have a problem with LaRoche taking a chance to score.
"It took a sliding play by Gattis and the perfect throw to the pitcher. We are looking to score a run there," Williams said. "The only question I have with it is, can the pitcher actually block the plate? We talk about the catcher all the time. So the question [the umpires] asked me when I appealed was, 'Are you appealing blocking the plate, or are you going to appeal safe or out at the plate? I didn't see him block the plate. I guess anybody can block the plate. I don't think we ever talked about it."
LaRoche, who showed his displeasure when he was called out, was unavailable for comment after the game.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.