God, it is hard to watch the Nats these days. It’s not just the fact that they’re losing — it’s the fact that they’re losing so incompetently, so completely, so embarrassingly.
I went last night to an actual 10-9 Nats victory over the Cardinals (10 runs is a whole week’s worth by the Nats, BTW), but I still groaned. It was the back end of a day-night doubleheader and the Cards started a bunch of tomato cans, including a pitcher with an ERA over 7 and an outfielder who routinely dropped and misplayed fly balls.
The Nats tried to match the Cards error for error, clanking routine ground balls, misplaying anything hit at Milledge in center field (he has NO future there), throwing to the wrong bases, failing to advance runners on routine plays, and on and on.
Nonetheless, somehow, the Nats raced off to a shocking 6-0 lead. They’ve had competent pitching all year, and that should have been enough to stop this split-squad of Cardinals, but no.
The Cards’ pitchers subsequently drove in five runs, including a three-run homer. They tied it in the 9th, then went ahead in the 10th, and it looked like the Nats might hit a new season nadir.
But somehow, Elijah Dukes turned into a Real Player before our eyes, wrapping up the game of his life by smacking the winning homer in the bottom of the 10th. Still, this should have been an easy win, and it featured so much bad baseball that I had to groan.
And the final insult — well, you can see that in the shot above. I couldn’t use my cupholder all night unless I wanted my beer to soak in this sweaty guy’s juices. I chose not to do that.