Confusing play leads to three simultaneous arguments with umpires during Brewers-Nationals game (Video)

David Brown
Big League Stew

This wacky play in the Brewers-Nationals game Monday would make a great test case for Major League Baseball, if it ever wanted to expand video replay to the furthest degree.

All of this happened in a span of about 15 seconds during the bottom of the sixth inning:

Milwaukee led by a run with one out when the Brewers loaded the bases for Norichika Aoki, who laid down a squeeze bunt. Nats pitcher Gio Gonzalez made a diving attempt for the ball, but trapped it, which allowed Jonathan Lucroy to score from third. In one motion, Gonzalez got to his knees and threw to first, but pulled Steve Lombardozzi off the bag — first base umpire Tim Welke ruled. As Lombardozzi and Welke argued, Cody Ransom also crossed home plate — but was told to go back to third immediately by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook, who said time had been called.

"[Baloney]!" Ransom could be seen saying on camera.

The results of the play prompted three arguments. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke engaged Estabrook about the apparently phantom timeout. Along with Lombardozzi's protest, Nationals manager Davey Johnson briefly but vehemently disputed Welke's call. Meanwhile, Ransom took up his case regarding the timeout with third base umpire Laz Diaz.

Nobody had a beef with second base umpire Paul Schreiber.

Video replay seemed inconclusive about the timeout — who called it and when — though Estabrook can be seen motioning for it before Ransom crossed the plate. Still, the timeout might have been only in his mind. As Kilgore wrote, Lombardozzi and Johnson were in the right about Lombardozzi's foot (feet, actually) staying on the bag for Gonzalez's throw.

Understandable, because Gonzalez was the guy saddled with the error. He did well, though, to allow only one more run in the inning. How did all of this impact the game's outcome? Impossible to say precisely, because the rest of the game also was strange, with the Nationals going on to win 11-10 in 11 innings after the Brewers bullpen imploded again.

Just imagine something like this happening in a playoff game, though. While there's no guarantee expanded replay would have sorted it out to everyone's satisfaction, this play is a great example of why it's a useful tool.

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