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Jayson Werth goes after home plate umpire CB Bucknor after horrendously blown call in ninth inning almost costs Nationals

Jayson Werth goes after home plate umpire CB Bucknor after horrendously blown call in ninth inning almost costs Nationals

Jayson Werth was so fed up with homeplate umpire C.B. Bucknor at the end of last night's game against the Braves that he had to be held back from going after Bucknor as the umpires walked off the field. 

Werth was disgruntled the entire game because of how bad Bucknor's strike zone was. 

But what really sent Werth over the top was the final play of the game. With the Nationals clinging to a 3-1 lead (and trying to avoid another bullpen meltdown) with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, reliever Shawn Kelley appearded to have struck out Braves catcher Chase d'Arnaud as he swung and missed at a breaking ball. However, Bucknor said that d'Arnaud foul tipped the pitch and that the game was not over. 

The thing about it was d'Arnaud wasn't even close to tipping the pitch. Check it out for yourself. 

The play was even more bizarre because Bucknor didn't immediately or confidently make the call. He kind of signaled that it was a foul ball, and then kind of signaled that d'Arnaud was out. Then all the umpires came together and ruled that it indeed was a foul ball. A foul tip, by the way, is not reviewable under MLB's instant replay. Bucknor, a 20-year veteran umpire completely botched the call, and he got blasted by the Nationals Radio announcers Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler. Slowes called it a horrible job by the umpires, and Jageler called it embarrasing and that it would have been disgusting if the Braves had benefited from the call. 

During the umpire's conference on the field, the Nationals dugout had emptied as they were going through their normal handshake line after a win. Even the grounds crew thought the game was over as they were all out on the field. So after the Nationals players went back to the dugout, both team's relievers went back to their respective bullpens, and the groundscrew left the field, Kelley had to get d'Arnaud out AGAIN. Kelley threw him a nearly identical breaking ball, and d'Arnaud again swung and missed, so the Nationals held on for their 3-1 win. 

But what if the Braves had tied the game, or won the game after that? The thought of that is what had Werth so mad after the game that he ran in from left field to get in Bucknor's face. 

After the game, Werth of course was very critical of Bucknor. 

While Werth is 100 percent right about Bucknor, don't be surprised if he has a hefty fine or a suspension coming down the pike for the way he went after the umpire, or for his comments after the game. 

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Mike Rizzo details the rehabilitation process for Bryce Harper to return for Nationals

Mike Rizzo details the rehabilitation process for Bryce Harper to return for Nationals

When Bryce Harper went down Saturday night during the Nationals' game against the San Francisco Giants, everyone in D.C. stopped breathing for a moment. This was true even for Nats GM Mike Rizzo.

"We've all felt it," Rizzo said. "You get that little pit in your stomach and it's the same feeling I had when [Wilson] Ramos went out."

RELATED: HOW JUDGE COULD HELP NATS KEEP HARPER IN WASHINGTON

The Nats' star right fielder was running out a ground ball to first base when his left leg hit a slippery base, causing his knee to hyperextend. Harper immediately went down and grabbed his knee in agony. He eventually had to be helped off the field.

The team has been plagued with injuries this season, from the bullpen to outfielders.

After the initial shock of seeing one of his best players go down with what could have been a season-ending injury, Rizzo told the Sports Junkies he went in 'GM mode.'

"You immediately go to GM mode. We immediately called our farm director, Doug Harris, and made arrangements to get Michael Taylor on a plane. Pull him out of the game in double A, get him on a plane and bring him here because we knew that we needed a player that next day. You know, you gotta change gears quick."

"Then I went down to see Harp in the clubhouse. When I saw him walking up the stairs from the dugout to the clubhouse, I was a little bit relieved. You never know with those injuries. Until you get the MRIs, until you see maybe a day or two later what transpired in there, you have to be cautiously optimistic, I guess that it wasn't an [Adam] Eaton type of thing where you knew immediately that he was gone for the season."

While everyone was waiting to see the severity of Harper's injury, Mike Rizzo and his team were making a game plan.

"You go into your evaluation mode. You look at the depth of your roster. What's next? You get the cabinet together, we were all in the GM box watching the game, so we were all together and kind of put our heads together to try to come up with a plan.

"If it's a light injury, if it's a year-ending injury, what do we do? What are the plans? And you know, you put plans together. If I'm not mistaken it was like the first inning or second inning or something like that. It was early in the game, so we had three hours to lament over it and think about what we're trying to do and put a game plan together kind of on the fly. We literally had Michael Taylor flying into D.C. later that evening so we kind of had to turn things around pretty quickly."

Now that the GM knows Harper's injury is a significant bone bruise, what steps does the team take to get him back on the diamond as soon as possible?

"If I had a time frame for you, I would give it to you. But there's no sense of putting on a time frame because the injury, the bone bruise, has to heal before he can do any type of rehab, stimulated rehab, baseball activities. He's not doing anything below the waist.

"He's doing his workout programs. He's doing all his weight work, all his cardio, all the things he has to do above the waist. But, we don't want him weight-bearing impacting with running and hitting and spinning, you know when you stick a swing and that type of thing, until he feels much much better and he's asymptomatic with the pain in his knee."

Rizzo said Harper will eventually progress to an AlterG treadmill, an anti-gravity treadmill that speeds up the rehabilitation process by supporting as much or as little body weight as needed.

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Howie Kendrick hits two homeruns for Nationals against former team

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Howie Kendrick hits two homeruns for Nationals against former team

WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, Howie Kendrick hit two solo home runs and the Washington Nationals snapped the Los Angeles Angels' winning streak at six with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.

Gonzalez (11-5) struck out four and issued three walks in lowering his home ERA to 1.79, now the best in baseball. The left-hander, who was three outs from a no-hitter July 31 at Miami, allowed his first hit two hits into the fifth against the Angels.

Los Angeles, which had climbed into an AL wild-card spot during its streak, lost for the first time since Aug. 7. Tyler Skaggs (1-3) allowed the two home runs to Kendrick and five other hits while striking out six in five innings.

Kendrick has homered in three of his past four at-bats after hitting a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning Sunday night against San Francisco.

Playing their third game since Bryce Harper went on the 10-day disabled list with a bone bruise in his left knee, the Nationals got an insurance run in the sixth on a wild pitch by Bud Norris and an error on Angels first baseman Albert Pujols. That provided some extra breathing room when Cliff Pennington hit a home run in the eighth, the first run Brandon Kintzler has allowed since being traded to Washington from Minnesota.

With Ryan Madson's availability in question after dealing with a blister Sunday, the Nationals went with Matt Albers in the seventh, Kintzler in the eighth and Sean Doolittle in the ninth. Doolittle picked up his 12th save of the season and his ninth with Washington.