The Washington Times - May 25, 2009, 09:18PM

We’ve got another “first” in Nationals history tonight: The first instant replay call. And it didn’t go Washington’s way.

In the bottom of the sixth of a 1-1 game, Gary Sheffield tagged a ball to deep left field that was immediately ruled a home run by third base umpire Adrian Johnson. The crowd roared, but Ryan Zimmerman started motioning to the dugout and Manny Acta soon came out to argue that a fan had reached over the fence and interfered with the ball.


So three of the four umps left the field and went to the instant replay machine. These things aren’t supposed to take long to decide, but this delay lasted six minutes. That might be because it was very tough to determine from the replay what happened. There was only one angle from the local SNY feed, and it was not as zoomed in as everyone would have liked. Looked borderline to me, but I can understand if the umps felt it wasn’t conclusive enough either way.

So the call stood, and Sheffield was awarded a 3-run homer, putting the Nats in a 4-1 hole. However, some folks back in D.C. watching the MASN feed tell me they had a much better angle, which clearly showed the fan interfering with the play. So there you go.

Regardless, after the delay, John Lannan walked David Wright, and that brought Acta back out of the dugout to make a pitching change. Another run came around to score, so it’s now 5-1 Mets.

I’m sure there will be plenty said after this one.