Of the Washington Nationals’ many losses in the first 81 games of the season — 57, to be exact — there are few that were just as plain silly as this one. Three errors leading to three unearned runs, including a ball that hit Willie Harris in his, uh, Willie in the fourth inning leading to two runs, and Joe Beimel’s brain-cramp throwing error that precipitated the winning run in the eighth.
On that play, Beimel came into the game in relief of Julian Tavarez, who had walked two batters, and got a comebacker from Ryan Spliborghs, just as he’d hoped. Only instead of throwing to Cristian Guzman at second, he hit Harris, who was backing up the play behind the bag. Harris couldn’t tag second, of course, and didn’t have time to get Spilborghs at first.
“I knew I had Guzie on the throw,” Beimel said. “I saw somebody standing there. I didn’t realize it wasn’t Guzie, and I just messed up and threw it to the wrong guy. I did everything right until that point – anticipated the ground ball, got it and just blew it. There’s no other way to describe it.”
Plenty of other blame to go around, though, especially on Tavarez for walking the two batters. After the game, Manny Acta didn’t sound too thrilled with the idea of going back to Tavarez.
“I am very patient, but my patience runs out when there’s a veteran guy and he’s not throwing strikes,” Acta said. “Beimel is our guy in those types of situations. He did his job – he got the ground ball. But unfortunately he threw the ball away.”
So here’s my question: Which Nationals losses this season were weirder than this one? Take your pick from bullpen meltdowns, missed fly balls and the like, and post your favorites here.
One more game in Colorado before the Nats head to Houston. That one’s at 3:10 Eastern. I’ll be back with you then.