As much as everyone around here would like to believe the Nationals are the worst team in baseball, that’s not true this month. No, while Washington has slogged its way to a 5-14 July record, the San Diego Padres have gone a pathetic 3-17.
Through the first three innings of their first head-to-head meeting this season, though, it’s clear who the inferior ballclub is. Your hometown Nats have already committed two ghastly errors plus some other unspecatcular plays, and are trailing 2-1 because of it.
Two batters into this one, Garrett Mock had already allowed a leadoff single, then uncorked a wild pitch (that probably should have been scored a passed ball on Josh Bard), then throw way high on a routine sacrifice bunt attempt, then allow a stolen base. Through in a sac fly and an RBI double, and the Padres had a 2-0 lead.
They might have extended it in the second when Adam Dunn misplayed Eliezer Alfonzo’s ball in the left fielder corner (scored a double and an error). But Mock bore down and got out of the inning without letting the run score.
On the flip side, Cristian Guzman did concoct a solo homer to center out of thin air in the bottom of the first. But otherwise the Nats have looked tepid at the plate. It didn’t help that Josh Willingham struck out as Nick Johnson was trying to steal second, resulting in a double play.
Yep, this has been a quality exhibition of baseball here so far.