- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- 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
- Budget deal exposes GOP divisions; conservatives slam tax hikes, vague cuts
Too many mistakes make for a long day for Nationals
Marlins finish 3-game sweep
Question of the Day
About a month ago, on a picturesque Southern California day, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson sat in the dugout and outlined his feelings on mistakes. Physical ones were OK. Mental ones were not. The focus could not waver.
There have been plenty of facets of the Nationals’ game for their manager to find frustration with since, including an offense that’s hitting .234. But mostly, the mistakes that had been committed were the excusable kind.
On Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park, with his team desperate for a victory, the Nationals made some of both in a 5-2 loss to the Marlins, Washington’s fifth straight loss.
His pitchers walked five batters and put the leadoff man on seven times in nine innings, and the offense again failed to make a significant impact.
“The last few nights, for sure, seems like, fundamentally, we haven’t been that sound,” said right fielder Jayson Werth, one of the bright spots with two RBI singles. “That’s just focus and playing the game the right way.
“Realistically, we’ve still got to play better baseball. Still got to hit, drive in runs. We haven’t done that all year. But the last couple nights we’ve lost focus a little bit, and we just need to get back on track.”
That lack of focus, perhaps, could be traced to the trade chatter that permeates clubhouses this time of year. Each day a new National seemingly is brought up in that conversation — a first-time experience for many of them, including closer Drew Storen and shortstop Ian Desmond.
But it was unclear if mental focus or physical issues caused Nationals starter John Lannan to walk four for the second straight start and allow four earned runs for the first time in 12 outings. In 5 2/3 innings, Lannan threw 115 pitches, the most he’d thrown all season. Three of his walks led off an inning.
“It’s unacceptable,” Lannan said, noting he had trouble locating the sinker specifically. “That’s pretty much it.”
“Four walks for the third straight game? It’s just disappointing. I’m better than that. … I think I just need to get out of my own head. Just go out there and just throw it. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve just got to go back to the basics, go out for my bullpen, throw my sinker and get it back.”
Including Lannan’s effort Thursday, Nationals starters have a 9.28 ERA their last turn through the rotation and have allowed 22 earned runs while averaging just 4 1/3 innings.
The worst of it Thursday came in the fourth inning. Lannan failed to look back a runner at third base when fielding a sacrifice bunt and allowed the go-ahead run to score. Lannan said later he heard two different teammates yelling “One,” signifying first base. So he did it, following the advice, but giving up the tally.
The bottom half’s mistake came on the base paths: a third out made at third base on an attempted double steal by Ian Desmond and Jerry Hairston Jr. It was the result of sign confusion between Johnson and third base coach Bo Porter, Johnson said, taking “full responsibility.”
The blame for their first five-game losing streak since May and second of the season, though, could be spread around.
“I know everyone’s tired of hearing that we’re going to turn it around, but the last few games we’ve shown some good signs,” Desmond said. “We’ve played with a lot more energy. …There’s definitely a lot of good signs, but it just didn’t work today.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Obama administration blasts GOP for criticism of Castro handshake
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow