The National's blew a 9th inning lead last night, but not without some controversy. Matt Capps thought that he had the game won, but a controversial check swing call against Lance Berkman was ruled a ball and on the the very next pitch Berkman drove in the winning run.
Ryan Zimmerman, for one, was not happy about the call:
"Yeah, he swung," Zimmerman said. "It's over with now, but I think we should have won that game."
When told he could be fined for his comments, Zimmerman followed up with this beauty:
"Its worth it."
Manager Jim Riggleman was more understated in his comments:
"It's just a philosophical thing. For me, a check swing is one of those calls in the game that there's very little consistency on it. Nobody really knows what it is, what it isn't. If you check-swing, to me, that means the pitcher beat the hitter. You know? If there's a gray [area], it should be a strike. There's a way to take a strike, and it's not in the form of a check swing. It works that way for both clubs. Tonight, I think it burned us. As far as I was concerned, we had the strikeout at the end."
This is the second game in a row in which Umpire Bill Hohn has made his presence felt. In Monday's game, Hohn ejected Astros ace Roy Oswalt for arguing balls and strikes. Last night, a dubious check swing call that went against the Nationals. Who knows what Hohn has up his sleeve for tonight's game?