When your team is a league-worst 1-10, and 9.5 games back after just two weeks of play, it might be a pretty good indication that your players suck.
And when your bullpen gives up 9th inning leads in three consecutive games, it might be a pretty good indication that your pitchers suck.
So ch-ch-ch-changes came to D.C.
Out goes Wil Ledezma, the hard-throwing meatball tosser. Acta wanted another lefty and Wil won the genetic lottery 28 years ago. So even though he bounced around with four teams over the last two years owing to the ERAs over 5 in three of his previous six seasons, the Nats brought him North.
And he stunk.
Out goes Saul Rivera, whose rubber arm, it appears, finally snapped. Pop! Rivera's been a valuable contributor, but he just hasn't had it. His pitches rolled gently in the general vicinity of the plate. And his breaking pitches had all the bite of your toothless grandmother.
Is he injured, or has he just lost it?
Steven Shell and Josh Bard joined those guys on the Syracuse shuttle (although both of these guys could refuse assignment).
In their place, the Nats bring up Jason Bergmann, whose lights-out performance had earned him a trip north two weeks ago. But the Nats didn't make all their decisions based on performance.
Garrett Mock, who's not likely to be much better than Shell, also comes up -- as does mediocre veteran pitcher Kip Wells.
They certainly didn't call up Billy Wagner or Mariano Rivera.
But they did bring up their top prospect. Jordan Zimmermann is set to make his major league debut tonight. If he's as good as advertised, he'll help solidify the starting rotation -- which, in fairness, was passable the second time through.
It's a lot of changes, but other than Bergmann, it's mostly a lot of shuffling. Mediocrity begat mediocrity.
But when you're 1-10, even mediocrity would be a huge improvement.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He thinks they need another 2-3 games like this before it starts getting funny again.