MLB Postseason, Washington Nationals

Nationals furious yet again at umpire’s controversial call

Umpire Sam Holbrook took away a scoring opportunity for the Nationals in the seventh inning of Game 6 after a ruling that will be debated long after the game.

Another umpiring controversy is threatening to become the story of a game in this World Series.

In the top of the seventh inning of Game 6 on Tuesday night, Yan Gomes singled off Astros relief pitcher Brad Peacock leading off the inning. The next batter, Trea Turner, hit a slow roller that Peacock fielded and threw to first to get Turner out. The throw, though, got past first baseman Yuli Gurriel and into right field, allowing Gomes to go to third and Turner to advance to second.

Just when the Washington Nationals, already with a 3-2 lead and nine outs away from forcing a decisive Game 7, looked like they would have runners on second and third with nobody out, home plate umpire Sam Holbrook called Turner out. The ruling was that Turner had stayed inside the base path and interfered with Peacock’s ability to make the throw.

Rule 6.01 (a) of the Official Major League Baseball rules states that a runner is out when an interference call is made and all runners must return to the base from which they started. Gomes was forced to go back to first base with suddenly one out in the inning. Manager Dave Martinez came out of the dugout and protested the call, but to no avail. He was ejected from the game, the first manager to be thrown out of a World Series game since 1996. The Nationals later announced that they are protesting the call.

The controversial call seemed to inspire the rest of the Nationals. Two batters later, Anthony Rendon homered off Will Harris into the Crawford Boxes in left field, scoring Gomes and giving the Nationals a 5-2 lead as they play in the bottom of the eighth.

Next: Justin Verlander can cement legacy with Game 6 win

This isn’t the first time this series an umpire got the attention after a game. In Game 5, home plate umpire’s Lance Barksdale’s uneven strike zone caught the ire of both clubs and even led Martinez to call for him to “wake up.”

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