The great thing about this Nats season is that they keep finding new and interesting ways to lose. They don't just lose. They lose fabulously. Spectacularly. Oh-my-god-what-have-they-done-now-ly.
Yesterday's game might've taken the whole cake, eaten it, then gone back for more.
Consider the eighth inning. Oh what an inning it was. The Nats entered with the score tied at four... for a little while, at least.
First, Austin Kearns was sent up to pinch hit. (Yes, leaving the pitcher in might've been just as effective.) But somehow, the corpse of his career spasmed to life, getting a hit.
Then came the play. Oh, what a play it was. Kearns headed toward second, but was picked off by the pitcher. As he ran toward second, Todd Helton fumbled the ball, dropping it. On a normal bad team, Kearns would've kept running through to second. But this is NatsTown. Kearns, stopped, and fell to his knees. A short run-down later, and the corpse of Kearns' career could stumble back to the dugout.
Cue the Yakety Sax! The circus has come to town!
Then came the bottom of the inning. After Julian Tavarez does what he does best (walking batters in a close game), Manny took him out for Joe Beimel.
With one out, Beimel got the batter to hit a perfect double play grounder. Beimel fired to Willie Harris at second, who relayed to first! Perfection! A thing of beauty!
There was one catch though.
Beimel's throw to second was meant for the shortstop, and when Harris caught it, he was 5 feet behind the bag. No out there. And when Willie threw to first, it was late, too. No out there either. Zero outs, and the ever rare 1-4-3 fielder's choice. Oy.
The only surprise about how the rest of the inning played out was that the Rockies only managed to score one run.
Still, it was 5-4 -- a lead they'd hold on to, as Huston Street shut down the Nats in the 9th.
It was just another perfect night in NatsTown.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. It's games like last night's that keep him watching.