THE RESULT:  The Washington Nationals saw the face of their franchise unceremoniously ejected from the game, then felt the sting of a walk-off loss.

Atlanta Braves rookie right fielder Jason Heyward lined a single past the outstretched glove of  shortstop Ian Desmond, driving in Rick Ankiel with the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the Nats to a second straight loss to the Braves, 3-2, before 18,105 at Turner Field.

In the top of the eighth, Ryan Zimmerman took what he thought was ball four and started to first, only to be called back by home plate umpire Scott Barry's strike call.  On the next pitch, Zimmerman foul tipped the ball into catcher Brian McCann's glove for strike three.

Zimmerman then proceeded to slam his bat and batting helmet to the ground in disgust, turning his back on Barry and muttering an expletive.  Barry rung up Zimmerman to the third baseman's amazement, and then tossed manager Jim Riggleman when he came out to defend his best player.

It didn't matter to the outcome of the game, but it is two nights in a row one of the Nats' highest profile players were ejected by rookie umpires on this crew.  Ivan Rodriguez was ejected by third base umpire Brian Knight in last night's loss.

The ninth inning started off innocently enough, as Sean Burnett (L, 0-7) got Alex Gonzalez to ground out to second.  But a broken bat single from Ankiel drove Burnett from the game, and bench coach John McLaren summoned Tyler Clippard. 

As has been the case much of the last two months, Clippard had trouble controlling his prodigous fastball, and he walked the first batter he faced, No. 9 hitter -- and backup catcher -- David Ross.

When asked whether his control was off tonight, Clippard answered succinctly, "Clearly."

He managed to get Omar Infante to swing at a high fastball for the second out of the inning.  But he got behind Heyward 3-0, the rookie all-star, and he drilled a fastball just over Desmond's glove to score Ankiel from second to end the game.

THE GOOD:  Livan Hernandez.  The crafty veteran gave up two earned runs on nine hits and two walks, striking out just one.  He kept his team in a game when once again the bats just couldn't get it done.

THE BAD:  Adam Dunn was 0-for-4 with three left on base.

THE UGLY:  On two seperate occasions, bloop singles fell in between RF Michael Morse and 2B Adam Kennedy, and in the fourth it led to a run.  These are just two more plays that don't go into the books as an error, but clearly are poor defensive plays that lead to losses.

THE STATS:  7 Ks, 2 BBs, 2-for-5 with RISP, 4 LOB, 4 DPs

NEXT GAME:  Thursday at 1:05 pm.  John Lannan (4-5) against Derek Lowe (11-10).

NATS NOTES:  Before the game, the Nats recalled catcher Wilson Ramos and reserved catcher Wil Nieves, who left the team to be with his wife, Yormarie, as she gave birth to their first child, daughter Isabel Maria.  Nats News Network wishes the entire family all the best.

The team also put OF Josh Willingham on the D.L. with a knee injury and activated OF Nyjer Morgan, who was 0-for-6 in two games on rehab.

The ejection was the first of Zimmerman's career.