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The worst inning of baseball?

In a comment under the previous post, noted authority "MJ" commented with a detectable certainty that the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon's game qualified as ... the "worst inning of baseball I've seen all year, and that IS saying something ... ugh."

To which I say, Here here.

And to which Manny Acta said, after some contemplation, "We had a few bad innings, I'm not counting them, but this one was pretty bad."

Twice earlier this year Washington has allowed more runs in an inning. (Eight is the season high, Aug. 13 against the Mets and May 23 against the Phillies) But never has an inning been more costly. Against Florida, a 6-1 lead collapsed into an 8-6 deficit. Four relievers appeared in the inning. They threw 51 pitches. They walked four. Those who watched comeback saw seven runs, five hits and two fielding errors -- including a no-look pass from Joel Hanrahan, who threw to first base when nobody was covering at the bag.

You can read the full postmortem in the gamer tomorrow, but make sure it to take it down with some water and aspirin.

Tough way to go down. The Nats have now lost five in a row, and seven of nine on this road trip.

I want to see a win, so I'm gonna watch the Steelers tonight.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 14, 2008; 6:37 PM ET
 
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Next: Root root root for... wait a minute

Comments

Hate to say it, but at this point I'm rooting for a loss every night. All we have to salvage is the #1 draft pick and the rights to Steve Strasburg.

Somehow I'm left with four games from my season ticket package. I can only hope I get to see Martis and the kids instead of OPerez and a bunch of other bullpen members who will be deservedly DFA'd at the end of the season

Posted by: Sec131 | September 14, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with 231. Today was good because one of the young kids (Balester) demonstrated a lot of promise, and the Nats stayed ahead in the Strasburg Sweepstakes.

Posted by: Ashburn | September 14, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Look my comment up from spring training - I think I said it then that Perez would be a bum. Oh well - this season is lost anyway. I'm not sure I can jump on board the Strasburg express just yet - I still like to see them win.

Posted by: Patty | September 14, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

A true fan would NOT root for their team to lose in any circumstance. I don't care where it gets them. If the 1st round draft pick wants 8 million dollars, Forget it! For someone who could blow out his arm in one season. I don't think so!

Go Nats! See ya Friday!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | September 14, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Its a shame the fine performance from our bullpen was for naught since SD and SEA both also suceeded in grasping defeat from the jaws of victory to keep pace with the nats for the Strasburg Cup.

Posted by: estuartj | September 14, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. But all that matters this year is identifying parts for the future (For the third year in a row). Milledge had a good game, Langerhans continues to bid for a 5th OF slot, and Balester looks like a solid #4 starter. Did we already know the bullpen stinks? Yep. Is Casto part of the plan? Nope. He's below replacement level. Is Hanrahan a closer? Looking less and less likely, but now's the time to work it out. C'mon down, Strasburg.

Posted by: Geezer | September 14, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Patty and calsgr8 - I can't root for my guys to lose. Go Nats!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 14, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I think that if I were a starting pitcher going into the seventh inning with a 3 run lead I would physically fight to not get taken out of the game. Hanrahan is pitching himeself out of the closer position. Time to reorder the bullpen, Manny. Ah, what the heck, it's only a game. None of this carries over to next year, does it?

Posted by: Dale | September 14, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

No need to root for us to lose, the losses will come anyway. I root for SD and SEA to win.

Posted by: estuartj | September 14, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm with the others who aren't rooting for the Nats to lose. If that's the idea, why not forfeit all the remaining games?

Even if we do "win the Strasburg sweepstakes", he (or, for that matter, anyone who pitches) will need eight other guys on the field with him -- and one way to find out who they should be is to see who continues to play hard and well now.

Besides, I'd like to spoil the Phillies play off plans.

Posted by: 422 | September 14, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Hear, hear is an expression that originated as hear ye, or hear him, usually repeated. This imperative was used to call attention to a speaker's words, and naturally developed the sense of a broad expression of favour. This is how it is still used today, although one can always vary one's tone to express different sentiments; the Oxford English Dictionary noted around the turn of the century that the phrase is now the regular form of cheering in the House of Commons, and expresses, according to intonation, admiration, acquiescence, indignation, derision, etc. It is often incorrectly spelled "here here". (credit Wiki)

Posted by: not grammar lady but... | September 14, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

And a British Wiki at that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The Padres have an idiot SS, who just broke his hand when hit hit the dugout wall with his fist. He was batting .213 with 10 home runs, 35 RBIs and a team-high 100 strikeouts in 389 at-bats.

I'd like to offer them Guzman for Kyle Blanks and a pitcher or two. Anyone know this guy?

Posted by: Jim B | September 14, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse


This afternoon's lineups
Washington

Bonifacio - 4
Gonzalez - 6
Zimmerman - 5
Milledge - 8
Langerhans - 9
Casto - 3
Montz - 2
Bernadina - 7
Balester - 1

Florida

Ramirez - 6
Baker - 2
Cantu - 5
Jacobs - 3
Uggla - 4
Gonzalez - 7
Ross - 9
Amezaga - 8
Sanchez - 1


By Chico Harlan | September 14, 2008; 11:48 AM ET
Previous: Links | Next: The worst inning of baseball?

CommentsPlease email us to report offensive comments.

Okay, folks, seriously. I'm trying really hard to avoid doing some work today. Y'all are really NOT helping.

It's okay. I guess I'd rather know now than later whom I can and can't count on when I need it.

On another note, nice to see Montz in the lineup. Jeez, what does this guy have to do to get an at-bat? (I mean, besides maybe get a hit. Can't get hits if you don't play.)

Posted by: Scooter | September 14, 2008 11:59 AM

I'm with you, Scooter. Trying to avoid work and NJ is providing little respite.

Tragically, Luke Montz hasn't gotten hits up here even when he has played. It seemed like he knocked the cover off the ball in the lower minors this year, did a bit worse as he got promoted, and has pretty much been overwhelmed at the majors. Of course, this all makes sense and is a rational progression for an unseasoned minors hitter, but the next two weeks is certainly the time to see if he can make any adjustments up here.

Posted by: faNATic | September 14, 2008 12:13 PM

I'm glad to see that Manny really wants me.

Posted by: Stephen Strasburg | September 14, 2008 12:15 PM

Montz has, what, 10 plate appearances? I guess they've just decided he's not worth looking at, and he's only here so Nieves can sit on Sundays.

Goodness knows I haven't seen Montz play (except for those 3 games he's gotten into), so I really can't argue with their judgment. I just would like to see a bit more of him. Montz may well not be the future, but it's a lock hat Nieves is not (as great a story as he was early this season).

Posted by: Scooter | September 14, 2008 12:22 PM

Do you think Balester was mad when he saw how the lineup card was filled out? I know I would have been.

Posted by: Strasburg Express | September 14, 2008 12:31 PM

How about giving Milledge a day off and have Dukes play center. Lastings' has been hitting around 100 for the past few weeks. Come on Manny. Try to win a game.

Manny would still lose even if he was managing LAA. Motivation is not in his DNA.

I had a nightmare last night. I dreamt that Bowden was retained as GM.

One last thing. I noticed that posters on here do not get nearly as upset with losing streaks.

Posted by: mjames | September 14, 2008 12:45 PM

Aw come on, Guys. This is the Day-Game- After-a-Night-Game-Gotta-Get-on-a-Plane-and-Play-Four-Games-Straight-Against-the-Mets-Before-We-Get-Another-Day-Off lineup. Isn't that obvious?

By the way, I see the Nats are looking for 2009 seat deposits. Sign up now, avoid the rush.

Posted by: 419E | September 14, 2008 12:46 PM

Work, what's that?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 14, 2008 1:10 PM

With 1 run scored this line-up has already overachieved.

Posted by: estuartj | September 14, 2008 1:47 PM

With 1 run scored this line-up has already overachieved.

Posted by: estuartj | September 14, 2008 1:51 PM

What a horrible lineup. I wish we would at least try to win. Bonifacio, Gonzalez, Casto, Montz, and Bernadina are nowhere close to being major league hitters. I miss Belliard and Flores and it looks like both will not be back this season.

Posted by: ladynatsfan | September 14, 2008 2:31 PM

The lineup may not end up mattering much.

Posted by: capybara | September 14, 2008 2:40 PM

If the below line-up (which has no FAs) were to play 140 games together, how many games would they win in '09?

1. Bonifacio
2. Guzman
3. Zimmerman
4. Johnson
5. Milledge
6. Dukes
7. Flores
8. Kearns
9. Pitcher
Rotation;
1. Hill
2. Lannan
3. Balester
4. Zimmermann
5. Martis


Posted by: MO Nats Fan | September 14, 2008 2:42 PM

Small ball.

Hits by Bonifacio, Gonzalez & Montz. Who'da thought. 3-0 and a no hitter almost through 6...

Posted by: Natty Dread | September 14, 2008 2:51 PM

MO Nats Fan:

85.

Posted by: hb | September 14, 2008 3:15 PM

6 to 5 and now nobody out. You've gotta be kidding me.

AND DURRANT BROOKS???? Nice draft pick Cerrato. YOu both suck.

Posted by: 6th and D | September 14, 2008 3:35 PM

Fan-freaking-tastic. Thanks for making it a ballgame, bullpen.

Posted by: Strasburg Express | September 14, 2008 3:36 PM

Well, maybe the bullpen will knock that number down a little.

Posted by: hb | September 14, 2008 3:48 PM

Strike that: thanks for giving away the ballgame, bullpen.

Posted by: Strasburg Express | September 14, 2008 3:49 PM

Worst inning of baseball I've seen all year, and that IS saying something ... ugh.

Posted by: MJ | September 14, 2008 3:57 PM

I really HATE the Marlins.

Posted by: BSG | September 14, 2008 3:58 PM

Holy mother of God! I run out to the grocery store for 30 minutes and there is an all-out bloodbath.

Posted by: capybara | September 14, 2008 4:03 PM

8th inning -- train wreck in slow motion.

Posted by: 422 | September 14, 2008 4:07 PM

Please pinch-hit for Langerhans. Dukes should be hitting right now

Posted by: Strasburg Express | September 14, 2008 4:08 PM

That is all. Thank you.

Posted by: Strasburg Express | September 14, 2008 4:09 PM

Wow - that was one ugly inning by the blowpen.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 14, 2008 4:35 PM

knew it was too good for "gasoline alley" ayala. he gakked up three runs and three hits including a HR to give atlanta a 5-4 lead in the ninth at shea. maybe someone at nats park fedex'ed his gas can to new york. can't wait for his return tomorrow night.

Posted by: natsscribe | September 14, 2008 4:35 PM

I think the Nat's bullpen likes to lose.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2008 4:35 PM

Is anyone surprised? Is anyone motivated to attend any more games at Nats Park for a vision of the future?

Posted by: ladynatsfan | September 14, 2008 4:49 PM

If the below line-up (which has no FAs) were to play 140 games together, how many games would they win in '09?

1. Bonifacio
2. Guzman
3. Zimmerman
4. Johnson
5. Milledge
6. Dukes
7. Flores
8. Kearns
9. Pitcher
Rotation;
1. Hill
2. Lannan
3. Balester
4. Zimmermann
5. Martis


Posted by: MO Nats Fan | September 14, 2008 2:42 PM

**************************
I'm all-in. Right now, I have a full house. 5s full of 8s. Mo, Young, Johnson at 5M, full of Kearns and Guz at 8M. So 8M for a number 8 hitter? I'd rather dump the pair of 8s. Trade Kearns for what I can get. Trade Guz while he is at the apex of his career. Also, DFA Young, if he doesn't lose 50 lbs. Keep Johnson. Keep Mo. My 30M has shrunk to about 10M (Dmirtri won't lose 50). Now add 10M to my saved 20M and offer 12M, 12M, and 6M to three big and/or RBI bats. Leave the pitching alone. Your five are fine, but add Ozvaldo in the mix. Put AG at short, bring Smiley up.

I fold my full house. Nice hand.

Posted by: Jim B | September 14, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The Nats need Strasburg and need to lose. This season is effectively over. Maximizing the future means minimizing wins now.

Manny should go with a lot of callups to see what they can do and hopefully lead to more losses.

Let's go Mets!

Posted by: Realist | September 15, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

more like troll

Posted by: realist? | September 15, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

The Nats have exported blown saves to the Mets like the Germans exported communism to Russia. Did they send Ayala to NY in a sealed train like the Germans sent Lenin in a sealed train to the Finland Station?
********************************************
Ayala (2-9) began the ninth with a 4-2 lead and allowed consecutive singles to Casey Kotchman and pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson. Norton then drove a full-count delivery into the Mets' right-field bullpen _ appropriately _ for a 5-4 Atlanta edge.

Posted by: flynnie | September 15, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

And now the Phils are only one out. It's not as if last week's games at Shea weren't close. The Nats-Mets series will be high drama, with playoff consequences. And then we end the season with three against Philly. Our hitters love that ballpark.

Let's win 13!

Posted by: flynnie | September 15, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

new post.

Posted by: Scooter | September 15, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

That was the worst half inning. The three runs in the top of the eighth made for a real nice first half.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering -- have you ever thought of rooting for Washington teams rather than Pittsburgh teams? Do the Pirates need a beat reporter?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hanrahan and Rivera have had alot of appearances this year, it's no wonder they are slowing down. During the streak Hanrahan was getting up and warming up every day. It's hard to judge either one this time of the year after the year they have had.

Posted by: blvd | September 15, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

For me, the worse inning was August of last year in Colorado, bottom of the 9th, Shawn Hill pitches a 7-inning gem and leaves the game with a five-run lead, only to have Cordero completely melt down and allow something like five hits in a row. After Manny finally yanked him, Chief slammed his glove onto the bench. Makes me wonder whether that was the start of his arm problems.

The only reason I still remember this game is that if we win THAT ONE GAME, Colorado doesn't end the season tied with San Diego and doesn't go to the playoffs.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't seem to matter whether people are rooting for them to lose, they manage to do it on their own anyway. Almost 40 games below .500. There's a serious lack of power on this team. The bullpen looks like swiss cheese, and we still don't have any depth. We've got guys with identical skills sets (Hernandez/Bonafacio, Langerhans/Kearns), guys who have no right being on a major league roster (Casto), a backup catcher who can barely hit (Nieves), and a bunch of starters who think it's a success to make it through 5-6 innings. This team is awful, and the differences become glaring every time they face a decent team.

Posted by: Brue | September 15, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Passive Nationals fans look at each game as a win or a loss and don't see the big picture. Those of us, however, who watch every pitch of every player at every level of the organization understand how - this year anyway - getting the first pick in the draft means something. So I don't think any of us root for the Nationals to lose a particular game, but hope in the end they have the worst record. Remember, this bad year is more a product of a rediculous number of injuries than a lack of talent. Take away all those injuries and this is a 73-75 win team. Let's look at the offense and extrapolate out a full 162 games for all the players except Jesus Flores (who would have played 135 games or so) and Emilio Bonifacio (who looks to be a very good platoon player)

1B: Nick Johnson - .220-25-100
[To be fair, Johnson had only 109 at-bats, so his average would have been much higher over a full year]

2B: Emilio Bonifacio: .284-0-20, 20 steals
[This is based on 450 at-bats, about the right number for a lefty facing righty pitching ... also, this number is based only on what he did with the Nationals]

SS: Cristian Guzman - .311-11-65
[Nuff said.]

3B: Ryan Zimmerman - .280-25-100
[His shoulder took his strength away for awhile, but we all know he'd have hit .280-25-100 over a full year]

LF: Wily Mo Pena - .250-20-70
[Does anyone really think that with a healthy shoulder that he wouldn't have at least hit this well?]

CF: Lastings Milledge - .262-18-71, 30 steals
[There is no doubt that playing a full year, seeing pitches every day, he would have hit at least .270-20-90 with 35 steals.]

RF: Elijah Dukes - .273-24-84, 25 steals. [He's a 40-40 guy waiting to happen]

And then there's Austin Kearns, who one day might hit .260-20-80. Or not

Jesus Flores: .256-12-90
[Assuming 450 at-bats, about right for a catcher playing 135-140 games.]

There is nothing wrong with that offense. Sure, Pena is still an unproven commodity, but Pena, Kearns, or both, would have put up those type of numbers if healthy all year.

So it's very possible that the Nationals might end up with the #1 pick in next year's draft and finish the year at .500 -- something that almost never happens.

Remember how good the Spurs were with David Robinson several years back, then lost him and others to injury and ended up with the top pick? They took Tim Duncan with the first pick and had a rediculous year with both in the lineup.

Hey, could happen,

Posted by: The Beltway Boy | September 15, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

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