Nationals

Nationals

No runs were scored in the first inning of the Nationals' Sunday afternoon contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but there sure were fireworks.

In his first at-bat, Nationals' right fielder Adam Eaton worked Dodgers' pitcher Walker Buehler to a favorable 3-1 hitters count. Buehler threw a high fastball, one Eaton believed was a ball, and the right fielder tossed his bat towards the dugout and started trotting to first.

Home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak called it a strike. On the ensuing 3-2 pitch, Eaton struck out, and had some works for Rehak immediately afterward. Eaton eventually stopped and started walking back towards the home dugout before stopping and saying more to Rehak. 

As Nationals' manager Dave Martinez was leaving the dugout to get his outfielder away from Rehak, the young umpire ejected Eaton from the game.

Martinez, presumably frustrated with the quick trigger from Rehak, argued with the home plate umpire himself. Rehak was also impatient with Martinez, ejecting him soon afterward as well.

This is not the first time in the series the Nationals have been visibly frustrated with balls and strikes.

On Friday, Howie Kendrick had the chance to tie the game or give the Nationals the lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, as he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and the Nationals down just two runs. Kendrick faced a similar situation on Friday that Eaton did today; a high 0-1 fastball around the letters from Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen was called a strike umpire Brian O'Nora.

 

The questionable strike put an upset Kendrick in an unfavorable 0-2 count, and Jansen eventually struck Kendrick out as the Dodgers held on to their lead.

Martinez was ejected for the first time since May 23, the final contest of a three-game series against the New York Mets, one the Mets swept, that dropped the Nationals to then 12 games under .500. The Nationals must win on Sunday to avoid their first sweep since then.

But, that loss ignited a fire in this ballclub; since May 24, the Nationals have been the best team in the National League.

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