I know Tyler Clippard had another meltdown yesterday, but it's apparent he has something wrong with him and he'll continue to be run out there until his arm falls off.

But I want to talk, briefly, about the sixth inning last night.

Usually the opposing manager makes the moves to take the bats out of your team's hitters' hands.  But last night, Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman did it all on his own.

Riggleman has a penchant for running his team into outs, but he really outdid himself last night.


Michael Morse stroked a double to start the inning off, and then everything went downhill from there.

With a one-run lead, Riggleman wasted Roger Bernadina, pinch-running him for Morse at second.  The following batter, Ian Desmond, was called upon waste an out and move Bernie, a fleet-footed runner, up to third, regardless of the fact that Bernie can score on a single to any part of the park.

Desmond predicably put down a poor bunt, which was fielded by the catcher who promptly threw Bernie out at third for the first out of the inning.

Desmond then stole second base and Willie Harris, pinch-hitting in the pitcher's spot, walked behind him.

The Giants then brought in right-handed Santiago Casilla to pitch to Justin Maxwell.

Riggleman didn't counter with a left-handed pinch-hitter, rather he let Maxwell hit for himself against a right-handed reliever.  If there's one thing we know for absolute certainty about Justin Maxwell, it's that he shouldn't be hitting against right-handers.  He's almost as bad against righties as Nyjer Morgan is against lefties.

Regardless, Riggleman left him in there.  And instead of letting him swing away where he might have had a chance, he called for a hit-and-run with quite possibly the worse guy on the team to do so with.  For if we know a second thing about Maxwell from his short opportunities in the Major Leagues, it's that he does not possess the "contact-making" skill. 

If you could combine Cristian Guzman's contact-making ability with Maxwell's other tools you'd have a perennial All-Star.

Anyway, Maxwell swung through at the pitch, and Desmond was thrown out easily at third base for the second out of the inning.  Maxwell later bounced out to short.

The Nats made two outs at third base in the same inning on the instruction of their manager in a one-run game. 

Inexcusable.

This team isn't good enough to give the other team outs. Last night was another example how this team has to fight itself sometimes.

2 comments

  1. MikeHarris // July 11, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

    Over (clap clap) manage (clap clap)! Over (clap clap) manage (clap clap)!

    Nats320 took him to task for this, too.

    You wonder if anybody in charge notices?

  2. Section 222 // July 11, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

    Well said Dave. The decision to replace Morse with Bernadina was a bad one too. Morse, who had already homered and doubled, is not slow and his bat was missed later in the game. If you want to make a move to get the lefty Bernadina in there, why not pinch hit for Maxwell with him. A poorly managed inning and game, I completely agree.