Nationals protest game against Padres over lineup card mix-up
The Nationals are playing tonight's game under protest after the Padres committed an error with their lineup card. The Padres listed Adam Russell, a right-handed reliever who was sent down to Class AAA Portland today, as the starting pitcher. In fact, scheduled starter Clayton Richard started.
After the top of the first, manager Jim Riggleman and Bud Black each met with the entire umpiring crew. The Nationals filed a protest, and the umpires accepted it, meaning they believe the protest is valid enough to pass on to the league office.
Two excepts from the official rulebook make the chances of overturning a Nationals loss appear grim. Rule 3.05(c) states, in part, "If the improper pitcher is permitted to pitch, any play that results is legal." Also, a comment under Rule 4.01 states in part, "Teams should not be 'trapped' later by some mistake that obviously was inadvertent and which can be corrected before the game starts."
As of the middle of the fourth inning, the Nationals are making the protest a moot point. Josh Willingham crushed a three-run home run to put the Nationals ahead, 3-0.
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