“It’s mind-numbing at times to watch the Nationals defense.”
-Rob Dibble in the 4th inning of yesterday's game
The Nat's 4-2 loss last night marked their 3rd (!) six-game losing streak of the season. It was a milestone defeat, however, as Jamie Moyer won his 250th career game at the ripe age of 46. Moyer was probably throwing back Mike's Hard's like they were water on the night Nat's starter John Lannan, 24 years old, was being conceived.
However, yesterday's loss cannot and should not be pinned on Lannan. Allowing 3 ER and striking out 7 in five innings is a little less than you expect from your staff ace by default, but not by much. No, let's chalk up another loss to the worst fielding team in the majors. Their ineptitude around the diamond has been discussed before, but sometimes the less than obvious plays are game-breakers.
With one out and runners on first and third in the bottom of the fourth, Lannan got Pedro Feliz to ground into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The only problem is Nat's fielders don't have a tailor, and in classic fashion, Anderson Hernandez couldn't even get the ball out of his glove, screwed it up, and pathetically watched Raul Ibanez cross home plate for a 3-1 lead.
The game was ultimately won by two runs, 4-2, but these are the types of plays that indirectly affect the outcome by altering the momentum of a game. They are also the types of plays that make a winner mediocre, a mediocre team a bad team, and a bad team a historically bad team.
Historically bad? No thanks, didn't we come close enough last year?
Nat's go for 7 in a row for the third time this year tomorrow against the Giants.