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Susan Slusser explains why Nationals should be ’embarrassed’ for outburst over unwritten rules



Even if you’re a fan of the unwritten rules, the Nationals outburst on Friday was a bit much.

Here’s a recap: The Giants were up 7-1 in the ninth inning with Thairo Estrada on first base and two outs. Estrada attempted to steal second base while Brandon Crawford blooped a fly ball into centerfield. After the ball landed, Estrada, who never stopped running, rounded third base and was easily thrown out at home.

Estrada’s attempt to steal and score pissed off the Nationals, notably shortstop Alcides Escobar who yelled into the Giants dugout before being pulled away by his manager Dave Martinez. Martinez made it clear postgame that he also felt some type of way about the Giants decision to try and score runs late in the game.

“They did some things that we felt [were] uncalled for. But you guys can ask [Giants manager] Gabe Kapler about that,” Martinez said postgame.

The Giants basically rolled their eyes, with Gabe Kapler pointing out that the Nationals still could have come back from six runs. After all, San Francisco had scored all seven runs in one inning earlier in the game.

Giants beat writer Susan Slusser was also rolling her eyes. She joined KNBR on Tuesday, and said that San Francisco doesn’t have to worry about retribution from Washington when they play again this weekend, because the Nationals are probably too embarrassed.

“I think the consensus was that the Nationals really should have been kind of embarrassed about that,” Slusser told Papa & Lund. “Especially if you look at who they had coming up in the bottom of the ninth, [Juan] Soto and [Nelson] Cruz, that game could have turned around really quickly. It’s only a six run game. That’s one of the things about the unwritten rules and Kapler said where is the line? What’s the score, what’s the inning?

“In that case it’s pretty simple. If you don’t want a runner to take off on the pitch, maybe play the runner. Don’t play behind him. That one was absolutely absurd. I think that was a team that has been frustrated, they are not playing well, they were not playing well in the series at all, but I think that was really unwarranted.”

The Nationals are currently 6-12, and in last place in the NL East. They were swept by the Giants in the three-game series.

“I’m with Kapler. He has said repeatedly — and I had never thought about it like this but it’s right on the money — the ultimate sign of respect is playing your opponent as if you think they can come back and win the game. Any opponent that doesn’t agree with that, what are you saying about your own team? I think that’s right on the money.

“Six runs in major league baseball these days? C’mon, that’s nothing.”

Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Murph & Mac weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.