- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
Nationals done in by ‘some pretty bad baseball’
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — In the slog that is a 162-game baseball season, the importance of the way a team starts the season often teeters on a high wire. A good start can propel them, a confidence builder they ride deep into the summer and, perhaps, to contention. A bad one could hurt.
Both outcomes could also be largely forgotten by the time the summer heat begins to fade and the playoffs become less of an abstract notion and more of a tangible extension to the season.
Currently walking that thin line are the Washington Nationals, who lost 2-0 to the New York Mets on Sunday to finish a 3-3 road trip through what is expected to be the two basement teams in their division.
“If you don’t start out hot, it doesn’t necessarily mean this is the way we’re going to perform all year,” said first baseman Adam LaRoche. “It can. You let it get that way where everybody starts pressing and we’ll look up in a couple months and be in a bad spot.
“We’ll continue to take the same approach that worked last year and it should even out. But yeah, this is unacceptable right now. Some pretty bad baseball.”
After 18 games, the Nationals‘ body of work is wholly inconsistent.
Their record is 10-8. Their offense comes in bursts, but then hibernates. Their pitching has had good days and bad. Their defense, a trademark strength of the 2012 team, has committed a major league-leading 18 errors, 11 of them attributed to the left side of their infield.
On Sunday it was all of their ills that brought them trudging into the clubhouse following their third shutout of the season.
Jordan Zimmermann, Zach Duke and Henry Rodriguez pitched well. But Dillon Gee and a host of undistinguished Mets relievers held them to just four hits. They committed three errors.
And in the moment it looked as though they may still have a chance to win and smooth over all of those issues, at least for one more day, their most senior player — who’s usually hailed for his baseball smarts — tried to do too much.
With no outs in the eighth inning, runners on first and second and a left-hander on the mound who had just thrown six straight pitches out of the strike zone, Jayson Werth hacked at a 3-0 pitch and grounded into a double play. The Nationals‘ final four batters of the game made outs.
“The situation got the best of me,” Werth said, sitting in a chair at his locker looking as pensive and dejected as he has all season. “Probably one of the dumber things I’ve done on the field in a while.
“Look no further than right here. That’s where the game was lost. We had a chance to win the game, but I feel like I pretty much blew it.”
It was the first time in the major leagues this season that a batter has grounded into a double play on a 3-0 count — and it happened only 11 times in 2012. It was surprising to players and coaches on both sides to see Werth do it, perhaps most of all to manager Davey Johnson, who said only, “I’m not going to go into that, OK?” It was a rare declined comment from Johnson when it comes to questions about game situations.
While some of his teammates tried to point out that the Nationals should have won the game elsewhere or in other ways, Werth wore the error.
© Copyright 2014 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
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Murdered teen texted boyfriend: 'OMG ... I think I'm being kidnapped'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world