MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Harper called out after not retouching second base

Harper called out after not retouching second base

WASHINGTON -- Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper made a baserunning blunder in the third inning of Tuesday's 2-1 victory over the Cardinals at Nationals Park.

With the Nationals leading, 1-0, and runners on first and second with one out, Ryan Zimmerman hit a deep fly ball to right-center field. Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay made a nice running catch and threw back to second base. It appeared both runners -- Jayson Werth and Harper -- made it back to second and first safely.

However, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny appealed, saying that Harper did not touch second base as he was returning to first. After the appeal, first-base umpire Jim Wolf called Harper out to end the inning.

At first, Nationals skipper Matt Williams was going to challenge it, but he decided not to.

"[Harper] didn't necessarily pass [second base], but as he stopped, he made a move toward third," Williams said. "If he stays on that base and stands there and returns [to first], it's not an issue. But the fact that he went toward third base and came back [without touching second], I guess that is intent of rounding the base."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.