- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Budget deal to get quick vote in the House
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro ‘marriage’
Mistakes stack up in Nationals’ defeat
Many of the symptoms of Wednesday night’s loss, the Washington Nationals’ 44th of the season, might have been a little more exotic than most: a pickoff, a bobbled ball before a relay throw, two more fielding errors and a near-triple play.
Others were more common to this clunky campaign: an offense unable to hit with runners in scoring position and a return showing from a bullpen incapable of keeping an opponent within reasonable range of a comeback.
The end result was plenty familiar: a game against the Minnesota Twins that spiraled from manageable to mediocre to mortifying, ending in an 11-2 Twins victory.
The loss dropped Washington to 4-4 on its nine-game road trip after a 4-2 start. And though the Nationals can salvage a winning road trip Thursday afternoon, they will have to shed the malaise that took this one out of their hands.
“This is what we have,” manager Manny Acta said. “We’ve got all these young guys. We’re going to be patient when they don’t do anything, like tonight, and we’re going to enjoy it when they do stuff and we win ballgames.”
Things started to unravel early, with Carlos Gomez scoring a first-inning run set up by Aaron Boone’s throwing error.
In the third inning, Jason Kubel reached third on Brian Buscher’s single, sliding into the bag as Cristian Guzman’s relay throw ricocheted off Boone’s glove. Then, Kubel scored as Brendan Harris doubled off the wall in right-center. Lastings Milledge played the carom but dropped the ball as he took it out of his glove. The relay home was too late and off target, and Buscher slid in safely for a 3-0 Twins lead.
“I couldn’t grip it,” Milledge said. “I thought we still had a play at home. If I would have fielded it cleanly, the run would have never scored.”
Still, two of those runs were unearned, and Washington starter Jason Bergmann did his part to prevent any further damage. He allowed just two baserunners from the third through the fifth - one of which was on the Nationals’ third error of the game.
He finished with only one earned run allowed on five hits in six innings, his best start in nearly three weeks. But it wasn’t enough to get Bergmann his first win since May 15, not with the Nationals’ offense again unable to beat a starter who needed to do little more than throw strikes.
Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey held the Nationals to one run in six innings with his ability to put a pitch on the outside half of the plate and get rally-killing groundouts.
“He won. It doesn’t matter how good he was,” Milledge said. “I’m not going to sit here and say he was Cy Young. He pitched well enough to win the game.”
Washington pulled within two in the fifth inning when Felipe Lopez sent Slowey’s fastball into the upper deck, and the Nationals followed it with a pair of two-out hits later in the inning. But it ended without more runs once Milledge grounded a first-pitch slider from Slowey to first base.
The sixth inning came and went with another aborted rally. This time, the Nationals put runners on first and second with one out only to strand Dmitri Young at third after Paul Lo Duca fouled out to first.
Another chance produced nothing in the seventh inning, with two walks and a hit batter negated by two strikeouts and a bases-loaded Jesus Flores pop-up. And any hope of a comeback slipped away for good when the Twins gashed a wild Washington bullpen, starting with Saul Rivera.
About the Author
- T'wolves receive post-Christmas gift
- Back in Minnesota, Saunders sees Wizards stumble
- Nationals sign veteran Marquis
- Nats' buzz at meetings is change of strategy
- In Cleveland, Acta's stock still climbing
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow