GAME 150 REVIEW: Comedy of Errors Doom Nats in 8-2 Loss

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | , , | 0 comments »

'We just didn't make some plays." -- Manager Jim Riggleman, on the fifth inning debacle.

THE RESULT:  One of the best things about baseball is that every night there's a different game, a chance to see something you've never seen, or at least haven't seen in a long time.

When was the last time you went to a baseball game and saw three errors by the same team in one inning?

Monday night, in front of the smallest home crowd in Washington Nationals history, the Nats committed three errors in a disasterous seven-run fifth inning, managed only six hits against a rookie starter that brought a 4.95 ERA into the game, and lost to another sub-.500 team, the Houston Astros, 8-2, before an announced 10,999.

In reality, there might have been two-thirds of that in attendance to witness a depressing, uninspired Nats squad slog their way to their fourth consecutive loss -- their tenth in 12 games -- and 88th loss of the season.

The fifth inning was a half-hour long nightmare for the Nats and their few fans that came out on a gorgeous almost-fall evening.  Willie Harris dropped a fly ball.  Adam Dunn fielded a grounder and led Livan Hernandez too much -- who was late getting over to cover the bag anyway.  Roger Bernadina kicked a ball in center allowing another run to cross the plate.

Yeah, it was that bad.

In addition to the miscues, Livan Hernandez didn't do himself any favors in the frame, first failing to get over on the play at first, then allowing home runs to Geoff Blum (his second of the season) and backup catcher Humberto Quintero (his sixth).

Livo's had better nights. (Photo by C. Nichols/Nats News Network).
"It was just a bad inning, a terrible inning," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said.


The Nats best chance to get back in the game came in the seventh.  They loaded the bases with two out for clean-up hitter Adam Dunn.  Dunn struck out on three pitches.

The Nats did jump out on top quickly against Astros starter Bud Norris (W, 9-8, 4.85), scoring twice in the first.  Adam Kenendy walked and Ryan Zimmerman singled to right ahead of Dunn's double to the right field corner.

But that's where the offense ended.

THE GOOD:  Zimmerman went 2-for-4, and is scorching in September, hitting over .350 and OBPing over .425, though he does not have a homer in 17 games.

The bullpen threw another four shut out innings.  Tonight it was Craig Stammen, Collin Balester and Joe Bisenius.

THE BAD:  Danny Espinosa went 0-for-5 in the leadoff spot, with three strikeouts.  His average is down to .226 in 62 at bats.

THE UGLY:  Livo.  Granted, four of the seven runs in the fifth were unearned due to the errors.  But he was the pitcher who served up meatballs to two guys with a combined six homers on the season.  And it's hard to tell if Livo was crossed up when Dunn looked at the runner at third instead of first base the whole way, but he was late getting to the bag on the play.

THE STATS:  10 Ks, 4 BBs, 2-for-5 with RISP, 8 LOB, 0 GIDP.

NEXT GAME:  Tuesday at 7:05 pm v. Houston.  John Lannan (8-7, 4.61) against J.A. Happ (5-2, 3.63)