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Beimel: "It's Beyond Embarrassing."

The final score tonight: Astros 6, Nats 5. The corresponding sensation: How much worse can it possibly get? Narrow defeats always leave room for plenty of regrets, but jeez --

* The Nats came back from a 4-1 deficit, held a 5-4 lead entering the bottom of the eighth, and frittered it all away.

* They had two runners thrown out at the plate, including a potential go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. CF Michael Bourn made a perfect thrown in the fourth to nail Nick Johnson. C Pudge Rodriguez made a lunging tag on a leaping Willie Harris in the ninth. Manny Acta later said, "You have to be aggressive. If the throw would have been one foot to either side we wouldn't even be discussing this, and I never second-guess my third base coach [Pat Listach] because we have scored over 300-something runs, and on every one of them he has waved the runner home. So I'm not going to second-guess him when one guy gets thrown out."

* The tying run in the bottom of the eighth was keyed by a double from Geoff Blum -- a result that came just several pitches after he'd popped foul near first base... where Johnson lost the ball against the Minute Maid Park ceiling. Thump. The ball landed several feet away.

Here's your corresponding rant.

Asked specifically about that play, losing pitcher Joe Beimel, who was on the hill for that Blum AB and at the start of the ninth, had this to say:

"Obviously it's a play that has to be made. Anybody with a pair of eyes can see that. But at the same time, I've got to make pitches after that, no excuses. I've got to bounce back from that and be able to get them out, make the pitches I need to, and I didn't do it. It's just -- I don't know. It's at the point where it's beyond embarrassing for us. I think everybody in the clubhouse should be embarrassed the way we play. Just the way we lose games. We find a way all the time that's just -- it's sickening. It's to the point where it's just hard to take. We've just got to get better."

So does Beimel think a veteran in the clubhouse needs to speak up?

"I think that's on yourself," he said. "The group as a whole, we need to look in the mirror and figure out what you need to do to get better, myself included. Like I said, I didn't make the pitches I needed to, and I've got to be able to do that."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 11, 2009; 12:10 AM ET
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I think they are close to the point where a remodeled visitors clubhouse could come this weekend if another loss occurs in this fashion, and good for them if it does. TEAR IT UP

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 11, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Does Morgan throw Tejada out on that steal of 2d in the bottom of the 9th where Willie's throw was off-line to short? Does Willie score if he slides? Did . . . gulp . . .Willie cost us this game?
Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 11:39 PM

Anyone? Anyone? Maybe this is best answered over morning coffee. Also, do Nats win if Bergmann is allowed to finish the game?

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 11, 2009 12:25 AM

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 11, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

On a positive note, Nyjer Morgan looks to be a sparkplug in this lineup. I like his speed and situational hitting. He'll never be an allstar, but he is steps above Trilledge.

Posted by: Tom8 | July 11, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Derek Jeter just dropped a pop-up, and unlike Nick, he was not trying find the ball looking up at a white dome, he was looking up at the beautiful starry skies of Anaheim. It cost the Yankees a three-run homer, too. With two out, the game went from 7-6 Angels to 10-6.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 11, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

My two favorite teams, the Nats and anyone playing the spannkees. No hitter in Frisco tonight.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 11, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

So sad. And I am still watching. Even sadder.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | July 11, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

About time, Joe. At least Beimel has a conscience. I don't hear any of this "embarrassment" talk coming from Manny, Guzzie, Kearns, et al. Shame on them. Good for Joe.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 11, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

The no-hitter by Jonathan Sanchez, who'd been sent to the bullpen! You should've seen Chone Figgins interfere with Jorge Posada on a pop-up. He actually pulled the glove off Posada's hand. Jorge pushed him aside, caught it bare-handed, and then turned on blue (C.B. Buckner) asking him why he hadn't already called Figgins out for interference. You should be able to see that play on Sportscenter - I've never seen anything like it.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 11, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Manny must go.

This team is begging for someone with a pair to fight for them or to put a boot in their backside and where is he? He's making excuses with his arms folded and chewing gum.

Manny grow a pair or step down, because the Lerner's and StanK are to cheap to fire your dead butt.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 11, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Section505203: We disagree on politics and I'm sure a lot of other stuff, but on Manny we are united. This bum must go. Now. Beyond useless. And beyond embarrassing. StanK, your move.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 11, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't dislike Manny Acta. I assume, from what I've read, that's he a decent human being. Maybe he would be a good manager, ala Joe Torre, on a quality team. But it must be asked: Has any MLB manager kept his job with the results over which Manny has presided? The answer is obvious. Will the Nats be a better team if he is gone? Perhaps not, but it would be hard, historically, to be worse. It's time for accountability. The buck may not stop at Manny, but it's the first stop.

Posted by: nats24 | July 11, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Long term, no. But Casey Stengal and Alan Trammell made it through complete disasters and continued to manage the next two full seasons as well.

Posted by: MarcJMilzman | July 11, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

All this talk by Bemiel, Acta, and the whole cast will never put Humpty back together.....come to think of it, where Humpty never was in the first place!!!

Posted by: Pete433 | July 11, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

My goodness what a long August those guys are going to have. Manny may be happy to be out of it. I don't see the point in pounding on them every day -- what meaningful thing can any of them say in an interview or press conference? They're just awful and there is no way to get better. Fire everybody on payroll, release all the players, replace them with the Mystics, nothing is going to help. They can only try to suck it up and get through this as well as they can.

Posted by: markfromark | July 11, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Halfway through the season:
1) I find the lineup compelling enough to watch and wait for something to happen.
2) The young starters are delivering excellent entertainment as I watch them grow before us.
3) And Dibble is the best thing that has happened to the TV broadcast.

Those 3 factors are sufficient to give me impetus to watch both live and on the screen. That's all I've been looking for this season: something compelling to watch. Expectations were dramatically lowered during the off-season, and confirmed during Spring Training, and I'm OK with the product. Yeah, the defense stinks and the bullpen is not professional grade, and we all love a manager with some fire, but I'm enjoying those little things because it was clear way back when that this was not going to be pretty.

Posted by: joemktg1 | July 11, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that was a tough one. Totally harshed my mellow, dude. However, if I trashed my home office, nobody would notice, given how it looks every day of the week. And I watch games on the tv in the basement. So I just did some mumbling grumbling and turned the channel after the last out to watch something other than baseball. When I went upstairs I told my husband "They really stink, and that's all I'm going to say about it."

Re. the missed catch, was there not also the factor of the miscommunication with Anderson Hernandez? And so add to Tom8's positive notes,
Bennett is still looking good and Bergmann did well in his appearance (I confess that when he came in I was yelling "No, not Bergmann!" at my tv). The late comeback was good to see. Hurt to see it blown.

Cool about the SFO game. Good for Sanchez. On a recent West Coast trip we took in a game at AT&T, versus the Braves oddly enough. I'd bought the tix in advance and had miscalculated on the rotation schedule, so I was bummed that we missed Lincecum. But Sanchez started that one and did pretty well (and they won and "I Left My Heart in SFO" was played over the PA system). I loved the ballpark and the view from the upper deck is absolutely spectacular. I'm admittedly biased due to my having grown up in the Bay Area. But just gorgeous. Just give me a Doggie Dinner value meal and an upper deck seat and I'm good to go.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 11, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Crud. That would be Doggie "Diner." But they probably do have a doggie dinner value meal, too. It *is* SFO, after all. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 11, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the previous item on Derek Norris prompts me to wonder about the scheduled MRI on Flores, which was mentioned in last night's pregame show, if I recall correctly. Something was also said (by Bob?) to the effect that one can't know whether he'll be back this year at all. I have a bad feeling about this.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 11, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Beimel said: "It's at the point where it's beyond embarrassing for us. I think everybody in the clubhouse should be embarrassed the way we play. Just the way we lose games. We find a way all the time that's just -- it's sickening."

To channel one of those annoying MASN "defining moments" segments and "Cathy" from Falls Church:

Yes it is, Joe. Congratulations. If ANY of you had any pride or honor left you'd all apologize and quit this masquerade of being so-called professional athletes. Every last one of you.

We had hoped for the return of professional baseball to DC back in 2005. Guess we will try again, no doubt unsuccessfully so in 2010, since this group of lame and leaderless losers... oh what the hell... *gulps my koolaid" and channels Manny Actaclueless....

"It's fine. We're good. We battled. I don't second guess."

Posted by: randy_boyd | July 11, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

This was at least the second pop fly dropped by Johnson that came back to bite hard, there may hve been more. He also couldn't dig out a low throw from Harris. As Boz has noted, his defense just isn't that good anymore. Not that I'm advocating for Dunn at 1B, mind you but lack of defense is really killing this team. Olsen had a shaky outing but kept them in the ballgame, too bad the defense and bullpen can't pull themselves together.

Posted by: SackMan | July 11, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Ironic headline of the day..."Acta says there's no quit in Nationals" on team web site.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 11, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Chico Im surprised you didn't blame Dunn for this one too.

Posted by: raymitten | July 11, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

>Ironic headline of the day..."Acta says there's no quit in Nationals" on team web site

Job preservation strategy. People said they quit, so he's says they haven't. If he makes it through the all-start break, I may have to shut it down. I don't know where Stank gets off on keeping him employed, it seems sicker every week he's still here. Beginning to believe that Stank has little man's disease - 'nobody's gonna tell ME what to do'. You just can't count on little people the way you would a normal person. They seem to have that one part anger receipe that ends up sabatoging any well-meaning situation. Probably even worse that he's a control freak lawyer too. Notice how baseball never really seems to enter the conversation with him. He works for a baseball team, but he could just as well be selling widgets.

Posted by: Brue | July 11, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Someone might mention to the Lerner's that I now need to replace my reading chair and lamp :) And in the spirit of looking for the positives: I can now bring a semblance of order to the library.

1a - you should try it sometime. Like you, my office was already there (and I really only dropped my book in disgust but don't tell cokesdispatch - I don't want to be accused of mailing it in).
way to go low....I just turned over the coffee table, what a relief

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 11, 2009 12:17 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 11, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"So does Beimel think a veteran in the clubhouse needs to speak up?

"I think that's on yourself," he said. "The group as a whole, we need to look in the mirror and figure out what you need to do to get better, myself included.'"

Translation - I am not a leader, so I am just going to complain...

Posted by: BT23 | July 11, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Exactly Nats24; Manny is a nice guy but their needs to be a change the longer this charade continues the worse it's gonna get. A change is in order nothing personal it's just business managers come and go but in this case Manny's got to go.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 11, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

On a more serious note - we have discussed the lack of situational hitting already this week but last night got me thinking about situational pitching. I'm jaded to be sure but it seems that we are giving up an inordiante number of sacrifice flies in game tying/winning situations.

A hitter is looking for something to drive in such a situation and usually that means a pitch up in the zone, or on the inner half. Listening to the games puts me a disadvantage to do anything more than speculate - but those of you who watch - are you seeing anything revealing? Are our pitchers simply missing their targets in clutch situations or is it a problem of pitch selection? Or am I just imagining all this?

Posted by: lowcountry | July 11, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"We blew another one," Nationals Manager Manny Acta said. "Our bullpen let us down again, our top two guys, but overall I feel good."

Acta feels good. About a team that has a 25-60 record.

What, in the name of baseball, would possibly make him feel bad?!? How can he possibly go in front of the press after a week of games like this and say that he feels good?

I'm with Beimel: this is beyond embarrassing. It's deeply humiliating.

But Acta feels good. Overall.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 11, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow. First the "Dominican" slackers, now littleman's disease. NJ never fails to disappoint for jaw-dropping commentary.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 11, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Okay, after a night of tossing and turning, I awoke to a mess. I have straignted the coffee table up. I'm better now. It's a new day, a new beginning. Time to win the last two and split this series. Make this a 2-5 road trip. The power of positive stinking....I mean thinking.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 11, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Is he waving guys home after a home run? Because I'd kind of like to see that.


I never second-guess my third base coach [Pat Listach] because we have scored over 300-something runs, and on every one of them he has waved the runner home

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 11, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I'd also kinda like to see him wave guys home on a bases-loaded walk. ;-)

Okay, I'm with you, cokedispatch. Let's go into the all-star break on a positive note. Come on, NATS!!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 11, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Pat Listach is nothing if not dedicated. He likes to put in the extra practice time, and homers afford a good chance.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 11, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I think on homeruns and bases loaded walks that Pat is just practicing his arm waving motion, wants to be sure he gets it down pat. He then reviews game tapes for proper technique. His motion seems professional to my untrained arm waving eye. I think he has it mastered. Other 3rd base coaches in the league could learn a lot from Pat.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 11, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

See the wave, feel the wave, react to the wave.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 11, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Listach needs to work on his situational waving. Excited when it's late and close, a little slower (saving it for the big ones) in the early going. He's good, but he's not there yet.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 11, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Darnell Coles at Syracuse. Now there's a guy who can wave? Bring him up and try him? What have we got to loose.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 11, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Plus, when Listach gets tired, his arm slot drops. Nobody can tell whether he's sending the runner around second or calling for a suicide squeeze.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 11, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Wow. First the "Dominican" slackers, now littleman's disease. NJ never fails to disappoint for jaw-dropping commentary."

To steal a line from the former assistant to the traveling secretary of the New York Yankees, Brue's little man is an idiot.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 11, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

What I'm saying is, Pat Listach is not a major-league third-base coach. Anyone with eyes can see this. He is totally lost out there and has no fire. I heard from Felipe Lopez's wife that he told Dukes players get an extra $50 bucks for making the first or last out at thrid base. He even refused to pay rent on his apartment last month when they were out of town and he didn't have a stamp.

But the clueless Learner's keep running himm out there, at StanKs insistance, because they are cheap and canot hold anyone accountable. This franchise is a joke.

DFA that Venezuelan bum Martis NOW!!!

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 11, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm done.

(And a hearty Booooo! to nunof1 for harshing my mellow with his interstitial post. Though I guess it kinda fit.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 11, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

that was a pretty good riff there Scooter. Extra caffeine this morning? Well done, my friend.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 11, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"I am going to sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of the season watching these young men express their talent."

Ray Knight, June 28, 2009

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 11, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

That *was* a good riff, Scooter. Well done!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 11, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Mightier than the '62 Mets? In the 85th game of the season when their record dropped to 23-62, the 1962 New York Mets scored the last three runs of the no contest 17-3 loss to the Dodgers. It was the first Old-Timers Day at the Polo Grounds and Frankie Frisch who was among the honorees later said "I never have to go out of my house again. I've seen everything."

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 11, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Here's something to think about:

As we all know, the Nats have been MLB's worst team since the start of 2008, with a record of 84-162, or .341.

Now here's the interesting part. The NEXT WORST team is San Diego, with a 98-150 record or .408.

Folks, the Nats are 13 games behind MLB's NEXT WORST team during that stretch. Whether you blame Manny or paltry investment by the owners in the club, that's pretty incredible ineptitude.

Posted by: EdDC | July 11, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Jordan Zimmermann and Shairon Martis are two of the best young pitchers I've seen in the last 20 year." Rob Dibble, May 3, 2009

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 11, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I love Dibs but that statement is just ridiculous.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree with those who are pointing out that N. Johnson is mediocre in the field. I cannot remember if he ever was any good.

In just one game he boots a routine one-hop throw from Harris and then forces Hernandez out of the way so he can misjudge a popup. Someone on this thread compared Johnson's fielding expertise to Derek Jeter's. Does this person live on the same planet?

By the way, the only tradeable commodity I see is Dunn and perhaps Willingham. (And Rizzo, the Nats' great baseball mind, has pronounced Dunn untoucheable, even though he is idealloy suited for the AL. You've got to love this bunch of misfits.) The rest of the available Nats are cellar-dweller material of no trade value whatsoever IMHO. So where do they go from here?

Actually, "cellar-dweller" does not begin to describe the 2009 Nats.

Posted by: JohnRDC | July 11, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

It may, however, describe some commenters. (Not directed at anybody in particular, but I just couldn't resist this meatball hanging right over the plate).

Also, new post up.


Actually, "cellar-dweller" does not begin to describe the 2009 Nats.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 11, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

this begs the question, can beimel manage?

Posted by: bford1kb | July 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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