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Nationals, Joyce involved in close calls at first

Nationals, Joyce involved in close calls at first

Nationals, Joyce involved in close calls at first
WASHINGTON -- Jim Joyce, the umpire made famous after his missed call at first base cost then-Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010, was back at the same spot in Game 3 of the National League Division Series in Washington on Wednesday afternoon, and he saw plenty of action.

Joyce made a couple of close calls at first, including calling out Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa in the second inning and center fielder Bryce Harper in the seventh.

Joyce's call on Espinosa killed a potential rally, with Washington threatening in what was then a 4-0 game. Ian Desmond had singled to start the frame before Espinosa bunted sharply to third. David Freese made the play smoothly, nabbing Espinosa for the first out. Manager Davey Johnson left the first-base dugout to argue.

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"'Just how come ... I'm 20 years older than you and I see him as safe,'" Johnson said of his comments to Joyce. "And he said he thought he got it right. I said, 'Check the replay.' He said, 'I don't have the luxury of doing that right now.' But it was just one play."

The next two batters were retired in order, ending the second.

With the Nationals trailing, 6-0, in the bottom of the seventh, Harper hit a sharp grounder to first that was snagged by diving first baseman Allen Craig, who got to his feet and tossed the ball to reliever Trevor Rosenthal for the first out of the inning.

Harper bowed his head in frustration after the call, and the Nationals were retired in order in the frame.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.‬ This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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