Nats react to controversial call: ‘He never tagged me’
By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter
Trailing 4-2 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Pirates on Wednesday night, Wilson Ramos stood on first base. Denard Span hit a chopper to second baseman Neil Walker, and then things got interesting.
Walker lunged to tag Ramos, who appeared to shift out of the way, and then threw the ball to first base to complete the double play. Umpire Laz Diaz ruled that Walker had tagged Ramos, so the game was over. Video replays showed that Walker’s tag missed Ramos. Manager Davey Johnson went out to argue the call, but his efforts were unsuccessful.
Diaz was unavailable for comment after the game, but here’s what some of those involved had to say:
Ramos: “Not even close. He never tagged me. … I don’t know, maybe he want to go home.”
Span: “He didn’t tag him, from what I saw. Neil Walker charged the ball, tried to tag him, and when he didn’t tag him, you can even tell by the way his effort was to even throw it to first, he was just trying to get an out with me. It was not even close, and that’s too bad that Laz missed it.”
Johnson: “[Diaz] said he saw the tag. I said, ‘Were you in position to see the tag?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I saw it.’ … I asked Mike Winters, ‘How about you?’ He said, ‘I didn’t see it.’ Wasn’t in position.”
Ramos: “He told me, ‘He tagged you. I don’t hear, but I saw it.’ I said, ‘Sure, you didn’t see anything. Not even close.’”
Johnson: “It’s almost a guess play.”
Span: “It’s no secret that the ball definitely isn’t bouncing our way. That wasn’t the story of the game tonight, but anything could’ve happened if that play isn’t called there.”