WASHINGTON -- Rafael Soriano stood with hands on hips as the ball landed beyond the right-field fence. Game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth. Another blown save. Booed off the field. An ERA of 6.98 since the All-Star break. A closer whose job, according to the manager, is now firmly in jeopardy. The Washington Nationals melted down in all sorts of ways Friday night. They blew a five-run lead after the seventh inning, committing three errors along the way in a 9-8, 11-inning loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. But the biggest concern for a team that appeared to be sailing smoothly toward an NL East title is a closer situation thats suddenly in flux. Soriano has pitched poorly in recent weeks, but the final straw might have been the three-run lead he couldnt hold because of home runs by Carlos Ruiz and Ben Revere. "We need to address it," manager Matt Williams said. "Its not an easy decision, none of them are, but we want to be able to close those games out. Sori understands that; hes been around the block." Williams said he would discuss the matter with Soriano on Saturday, but the manager went on to strongly indicate the right-hander could be given a break from closer duties to sort things out. Williams mentioned Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen and Matt Thornton as possible alternatives. "Soris been struggling a little bit," Williams said, "so well have to look to land him a little softer maybe for a few days and see where were at." Soriano has 31 saves this season, but he has allowed at least one run in seven of his last 12 appearances. He said he plans to study video and talk with pitching coach Steve McCatty on Saturday. "Ive got to figure it out, whats going on right now," Soriano said. "And do it better." Told that Williams might turn to another closer, Soriano said: "What situation he can make, I agree with him because one of the reasons that I like him so far is weve got good communication." The Phillies began their rally with two unearned runs in the eighth, spurred by Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendons booted grounder. The three runs off Soriano in the ninth included the second career homer by Revere, a solo shot that tied the game at 7. Before that inning, Revere had 947 career plate appearances on the road without a homer -- the most among active players. Then came an unearned pair of runs in the 11th off Craig Stammen (4-5), an inning that started with a two-base error on Bryce Harper when the left fielder ran smack into centre fielder Denard Span on a routine fly ball by Domonic Brown. "He called it, and we bump into each other," Harper said. "Center field has priority, of course, and Ive got to get out of there." Brown later scored on a fielders choice grounder to first by Maikel Franco, who was playing in his second major league game and in the third inning had produced his first major league hit. First baseman Tyler Moore tried to get Brown at home, but the throw was off target. Franco went to second, and Moore was charged with the Nationals third error of the game. Jake Diekman (4-4) pitched one inning for the win. Jonathan Papelbon pitched the 11th for his 34th save, but only after allowing a run off consecutive one-out hits by Rendon, Jayson Werth and Moore. Philadelphia has won 8 of 11, a stretch that includes a three-game sweep of the Nationals last week in Philadelphia. STELLAR STRASBURG: Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg allowed one run and four hits over six innings with five strikeouts and no walks. He has a career-high 189 innings for the season, surpassing his 183 from last year. He received a mound visit in the sixth from McCatty, who was concerned that Strasburg was getting a finger blister in the heat, but the right-hander remained in the game through the end of the inning. TRAINERS ROOM Phillies: LHP Mario Hollands (flexor strain, left elbow) was placed on the 60-day disabled list, but the reliever wont undergo surgery. "Hes on six weeks rest, at least, from baseball," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Its basically a rest program. So thats good news." Hollands spot on the roster was taken by RHP Sean OSullivan, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Nationals: 1B Adam LaRoche started despite a nagging lower back strain, a sore elbow and the remnants of a stomach bug that had him woozy and barely able to swing a bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, when he had five RBIs after entering the game in the ninth inning of a 14-inning win. He hardly seemed fazed. He hit a two-run homer in the first off Phillies starter Jerome Williams and had a sacrifice fly to give him eight RBIs in two games. UP NEXT Philadelphias A.J. Burnett (7-15, 4.40 ERA) faces Washingtons Tanner Roark (12-9, 2.91) on Saturday in the second game of the three-game series. Tarik Cohen Jersey
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. -- Slugger Jose Abreu, All-Star left-hander Chris Sale and closer Matt Lindstrom are on the disabled list. http://www.bearsfootballpro.com/Authentic_Mike-Singletary_Bears_Jersey/
. Edwin Encarnacion carried the torch for two days at Fenway Park this week; Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista have had their moments; lately Anthony Gose has contributed. Gale Sayers Jersey
. The stress, the waiting, the whispers about whether he doped during his stellar cycling career, all of it ended when - after nearly two years - federal prosecutors closed an investigation of him last week without bringing any charges. Brian Urlacher Youth Jersey
. The appointment of Boullier continues the behind-the-scenes restructuring at McLaren, who recently brought back former team principal Ron Dennis as its new chief executive.In the Predators/Habs game Saturday night, Montreals second, go-ahead goal was ultimately disallowed after review (I believe the ref stated that after all four officials determined that the puck had not crossed the line). Now, correct me if Im wrong but I saw one official distinctly pointing at the net indicating a good goal but after an inconclusive review they overturned the goal. Shouldnt the ruling on the ice (good goal) stand after an inconclusive review? Why was this overturned? James Veaudry Pembroke, ON -- Hey Kerry, Youll get a lot of these, but why was the Montreal goal against Nashville Saturday night overturned? Eller puts the puck on net and the on ice ruling from the ref behind the net is a Montreal goal. After much delay, the same ref announces that after a review with all on ice officials, the ruling is the puck never crossed the goal line. How is this possible? Ive always believed that if the video review is inconclusive, which it obviously was, then the call on ice stands. How is the other ref from the blue line supposed to tell if a puck crosses the line? Let alone be able to overrule the ref inches away. The ref simply changed his mind after the play. Is that allowed? Sounds pretty shady to me. Thanks, Dave -- Hi Kerry! Last night I was bouncing out of my chair with excitement when the red light came on, Lars Eller celebrated and the referee pointed indicating a goal in the third period. Then suddenly the referees decided to review the play as there was question about whether the puck had actually crossed the line. After watching the replays myself, it was unclear whether the puck made it over the line or not because it was hidden under Rinnes body. Seeing this, I was all but sure that the goal had to stand, because from my understanding the referees needed undeniable evidence to over-turn an on-ice call. But that wasnt the case. The referee announced that "The four referees agree that the puck did not enter the net" which indicated to this viewer that, they too were unsure but had a chat about it, and I suppose used their judgment, to deicide the puck had never crossed the line. What I dont understand is how they can make this new judgment with inconclusive evidence? Moreover, how a referee can clearly call a goal a goal, and then change his opinion moments later? Could you clear up my confusion with the rules on this matter? Thanks! Rob -- To All Disappointed Habs Fans: Upon further information gathering from all vantage points on the ice by the officiating crew, including a seemingly definitive confirmation from the situation room video review, the referee on the goal line changed his initial quick reaction decision and correctly determined that the puck did not cross the goal line - no goal! At no time do we see the puck cross the goal line on thiis play.dddddddddddd The official statement found on the Situation Room blog posting at NHL.com is as follows; “Video review determined that Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Ellers shot did not cross the goal line. No goal Montreal.” (See Situation Room review here. Having witnessed referee Chris Rooney point to the net to signal a goal I trust it is the referees announcement that is causing you confusion (“The call on the ice by the four officials that the puck did not cross the goal line and that is confirmed (by video review)…”) and not the correct final decision that was ultimately rendered. All confusion would have been eliminated had the announcement by the referee simply been; “Video review has confirmed that the puck did not cross the goal line, the initial call on the ice is overturned - no goal.” Let me explain the protocol and how the process most likely worked in this situation. In the event that video review returns an “inconclusive” verdict the referees are required to make a decision (communicated with a point into the net or washout signal) from their vantage point when it appears the puck has entered the net. Sometimes the “vantage point” a referee has in that moment is not always the best one. For this reason, the four officials on the ice are required to conference and provide input from their respective vantage points as an added ‘safety check. This is in addition to video review that takes place. Through the conference process considerable doubt must have been created in referee Rooneys mind and caused him to change his initial reaction to the play. The obvious answer is the referee needs to see the puck cross the line before pointing to the net. In real time other factors can complicate this decision. In fairness on this play, the referees approach to the net was from the opposite corner from behind the goal line. This route caused an obstructed view looking through the net and the back of Predators sprawled goalie Pekka Rinne. The refs focus was also split between a penalty that he signaled to David Legwand for cross-checking Eller just as the Montreal forward flipped the puck toward Rinne. With Rinnes body position sprawled deep into the net and across the goal line, Rooneys gut reaction and instinct told him the puck had crossed the line from his vantage point. As required, the ref made his initial decision but once a consultation took place with the other crew members Rooney correctly changed his opinion on the play. It would have been less confusing and more efficient had the ref not communicated the result of the Officiating Crews ‘internal process that caused him to change his initial decision on the play. In the end the right decision was rendered. Sometimes the less said the better! ' ' '