Game 1 of the Jim Riggleman Era results in a 6-2 loss that had some striking similiarities to games from the Manny Acta Era.
To review, the Nats…
— Committed two errors, each leading in runs.
— Had a runner picked off first base.
— Couldn’t take advantage of what few opportunities they had against the Cubs’ pitching staff.
— Saw their bullpen surrender three runs in the ninth that turned a 3-1 game into a 6-1 insurmountable deficit.
“I thought we played very well for seven innings, and then it got away from us,” Riggleman said. “I don’t think the score, when it was 6-1, was very indicative of how good a ballgame it was. But that’s not what we’re trying to achieve. We’re trying to win the ballgame and we didn’t do it, so there’s really not a whole lot to feel good about.”
No, there wasn’t much to feel good about after this one. Whatever positives there were — notably another quality start for John Lannan, albeit in a losing effort — were outweighed by yet another Nats loss, their 62nd in 88 games this season.
“Yeah, there’s positives to take out of it. But at the end of the day, we’re not here to just get positives,” catcher Josh Bard said. “I mean, they’re paying us stinkin’ boatloads of money to go out there and win baseball games, and we’ve got to be better than that. We’re not going to make this ship right in three hours, but we’ve got to move forward.”
A quick Scott Olsen update: According to Riggleman, the lefty knew there was a problem with his left shoulder/back during the All-Star break but was hoping he would feel better when he threw during yesterday’s workout. He didn’t. And he still didn’t feel well today during pregame drills. So the Nats decided to bump him off his scheduled start tomorrow. Riggleman hopes Olsen (who declined to talk to reporters) will be ready to go Monday. But at this point, it’s too early to say for sure whether he’ll be able to go.