This just in: The Nats stink.
Yesterday, they traveled to the Bronx, with Manny Acta's job on the line. And yesterday they lost. Again. They're now 16-46. That's a game behind the 1962 Mets -- the 120-loss 1962 Mets.
Heck of a job there, Natsies.
Yesterday's loss followed much of the same pattern as so many of the ones that came before it: impotent offense, followed by the bullpen gacking up another lead.
Nats batters had a tough job, facing off against the massive CC Sabathia. They didn't get much off of him at all, and the lone runs came when Anderson Hernandez popped a fly ball just into the stands in left for a three-run homer. That was all they got.
But for a while it looked like it might've been enough. Starter Shairon Martis kept the Yankees off balance, and despite five walks, he left after 6 (and 100+ pitches) with a 3-2 lead.
Two innings later (thanks to Ron Villone and Mike MacDougal), the Yankees had a 5-3 lead. And Mariano Rivera closed the door on another Nats' loss.
This wasn't all on the pitchers though. Acta put Elijah Dukes in centerfield, despite there being pretty much zero evidence that he's capable of playing the position at this point. He didn't misplay balls, per se, but there were at least two fairly catchable balls that fell over his head. They're not errors, but errors only capture a tiny part of a quality of a team's defense.
And when the Nats batters smacked grounders up the middle, Robby Cano repeatedly picked 'em, and nailed the runners at first -- grounders that likely would've been up the middle and through with the Nats in the field.
The Nats defense hasn't supported the pitchers. And the Nats bats aren't doing anything. It's all a big mess... but 120 losses? Ouch.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He almost thinks it's time for Langerhans.