Zimmerman Streaks; Nats Stink

Hitting streak no match for pitching incompetence

When you're a team as lousy as the Nats -- now 7-19, on pace for a 45-117 season -- there's no glory in the result of the games.  Fans need to take comfort in individual feats.  And sometimes they need to celebrate the absurd.

Last night's 10-3 loss to the Dodgers provided one of each.

"The Face", Ryan Zimmerman extended his club-record hitting streak to 24 games with a first-inning single.  It was his only hit of the game, ending a four-game multi-hit streak.

Unlike the team he plays for, Zimmerman has been red hot, hitting in all but the second game of the season.

Over the streak, he's hit .353/ .407/ .598, numbers that look an awfully lot like David Wright.  Over that time, the team has gone just 7-16, which probably gives him the worst team record of a hitting streak that long.

The Washington record is by the immortal Heinie Manush (not to be confused with Heinie Zimmerman) who hit in 33 straight games in 1933.

Manush's team, by contrast, won 99 games and the American League Pennant, losing the World Series to the Giants.

Zimmerman's got a little ways to go, but if he can get through the buzzsaw pitching machines in San Francisco, he's got a chance to keep this going for a while.

The absurd moment of last night's game, though, was Mike Hinckley's ball four "pitch" in the sixth inning.  With the bases loaded and a three-ball count to Orlando Hudson, Hinckley hurled the ball all the way to the backstop, 30 feet above the plate.

In calling the play, Vin Scully said, "Not only ball four, but it almost left the room."

Those are our Nats.  Gotta love 'em.  Nobody else will.

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment.  He remembered when it was fun to stay up for West coast games.

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