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Offline Senators2005

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It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Topic Start: July 19, 2005, 04:14:55 AM »
Nationals dare to err
By Ken Wright
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published July 19, 2005

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The Washington Nationals seemingly are unraveling everywhere.
 
    The club's lack of offense after the All-Star break has been well documented. Now this normally strong defensive team is breaking down in the field, too.

    A ninth-inning error by third baseman Vinny Castilla, his second of the game, allowed the last-place Colorado Rockies to escape with a 5-4 victory before 30,165 last night at RFK Stadium in the opener of a three-game series.

    The Rockies' victory was just their eighth road win in 43 games. The loss was the ninth in 12 games for the Nationals (53-40) and reduced their lead in the National League East to just one game over the Atlanta Braves, who played a late game in San Francisco. Washington has been in first place since June 5.

    Nationals starter Tony Armas Jr. left the game in the third inning with two balls on leadoff batter Byung-Hyun Kim, the Rockies' starting pitcher, because of dizziness and dehydration on a stifling hot night.
 
    After the game, Armas was unavailable for comment, but manager Frank Robinson said the pitcher "couldn't catch his breath and was dizzy."
    Castilla's second error proved the most costly. Pinch hitter Eddie Garabito led off the ninth with a single up the middle and went to second on a sacrifice. With two out, Aaron Miles hit a routine grounder to Castilla that would have ended the inning, but the veteran third baseman pulled up too early on the ball, and it went through his legs into left field as Garabito scored the winning run.

    "When something is going bad, it's bad," said Castilla, who had just four errors before last night. "Tonight I just missed the ball."

    Armas threw just 31 pitches before he removed himself from the game. Armas' exit became even more bizarre when left-handed reliever Joey Eischen came in from the dugout instead of the bullpen.

    With the Nationals desperately needing Eischen to give them innings, the veteran responded with his longest and perhaps best outing of the season.

    Eischen completed the walk to Kim but then worked three decent innings. The Rockies tied the game 2-2 in the fifth inning off him, but Eischen would have been out of the inning if new center fielder Preston Wilson hadn't played too shallow on Cory Sullivan's deep fly ball.
 
    Sullivan was credited with a triple after his drive struck Wilson's glove and scored Dustan Mohr. Overall, Eischen allowed two runs on three hits and struck out two.

    The Rockies took an 1-0 first-inning lead off Armas. With one out, Miles singled to left and advanced when Armas walked Todd Helton. Miles, who owns a 13-game hitting streak, then scored on Eric Byrnes' single to center.

    The Nationals took the lead in their half. Jose Vidro walked, and Jose Guillen moved Vidro to third with a line-drive double into the gap in left. Vidro scored on Wilson's bloop double to shallow center, and Guillen scored on Ryan Church's groundout to shortstop.

    The Rockies recaptured the lead in the sixth. Eischen surrendered an inning-opening double to Helton before giving way to right-hander Hector Carrasco. A broken-bat infield single by Byrnes pushed Helton to third, and he scored when Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman mishandled a weakly hit grounder by Garrett Atkins.

    "I was surprised because normally we don't make three [errors] in a game," said Guzman, who is now 0-for-15 at the plate since returning to the lineup from a strained left hamstring after the All-Star break.

    The Rockies boosted their lead to 4-2 when Danny Ardoin delivered a sacrifice fly to right that scored Byrnes.

    The Nationals tied it once more in their half of the seventh. Vidro singled with one out before Rockies reliever Mike DeJean hit Guillen and walked Wilson.

    Church delivered a deep sacrifice fly to center to score Vidro, but Sullivan's throw to third bounced in the dirt and skipped past Atkins as Guillen scored the tying run.

Offline Senators2005

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It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Reply #1: July 19, 2005, 04:21:10 AM »
Nationals Hit Low in Sloppy Loss
Robinson Calls 3-Error Effort 'The Worst Game We've Played': Rockies 5, Nationals 4

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 19, 2005; E01



The first-place club played like a sorry, bottom-of-the-barrel outfit last night, one that had its manager's stare honed, his stride purposeful, his wrath preceding him. Over the course of a 162-game season, baseball teams invariably come across sloppy, uninspired efforts. But last night, the Washington Nationals lost a 5-4 decision to the lowly Colorado Rockies that officially made this the worst slump of what had previously been an enjoyable year.

"That is the worst game we've played all year long," Manager Frank Robinson said. "It's unacceptable, and it will not be accepted here."

The Nationals built their lead in the National League East -- one that could evaporate at any moment -- by pitching well and fielding flawlessly. Last night, their starting pitcher, Tony Armas Jr., threw two pitches in the top of the third inning and left because of dizziness and dehydration. Worse, though, their defense simply collapsed, a three-error performance that culminated in third baseman Vinny Castilla's inability to pick up a grounder in the ninth inning of a tie game. Make the play, the inning is over, and the Nationals have a chance to win in the bottom of the ninth. Instead, Eddie Garabito easily scored the winning run from second base.

"I just missed the ball," Castilla said.

Only once this year -- May 13 against the Chicago Cubs -- had the Nationals committed three errors in a game. The follies last night also included a fly ball to center fielder Preston Wilson, acquired from the Rockies in a trade last week. Wilson went back too slowly, sped up, slipped, watched the ball hit his glove and then fall to the ground. It was ruled a triple, and led to another run that shouldn't have scored.

All this is the kind of play indicative of a team that has lost nine of its last 12. Previously, the focus of the slump was the offense. But Robinson -- who watched his club make five errors over two days in losses to Milwaukee and Colorado -- said the precursors to this loss were there over the past two weeks.

"It's just it was more of the sloppy play than it has been," he said. "But we've been making little sloppy plays that cost us runs in ballgames for quite some time now. It just came to a head tonight."

Perhaps Armas's departure should have been an omen. The temperature was a muggy 87 degrees at the time of the first pitch, and after tossing his warmups in the top of the third, he didn't look right. He threw two straight balls to the opposing pitcher, Byung Hyun Kim, and catcher Brian Schneider reported to the mound. He was joined in short order by Robinson and trainer Tim Abraham.

"He said he couldn't catch his breath and he was dizzy," Robinson said of Armas, who had departed RFK by game's end.

Even with that aborted outing, there were plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the Rockies, who had lost four straight, who have baseball's worst record on the road and who committed three errors of their own. Washington tied the game at 4 in the seventh, getting one run on Ryan Church's bases-loaded sacrifice fly, then scoring the other when the ensuing throw to third from center fielder Cory Sullivan skipped past third baseman Garrett Atkins, allowing Jose Guillen to scoot home.

The crowd of 30,165 could reasonably assume, at that point, that the Nationals would somehow pull this thing out, especially because relievers Joey Eischen, Hector Carrasco, Luis Ayala and Chad Cordero all pitched effectively. But there were more gaffes to come.

In the eighth, Schneider -- who tied a career high with four hits -- led off with a single. Up walked shortstop Cristian Guzman, who hasn't had a hit since the all-star break. The mission was clear: Bunt Schneider to second, and give pinch hitter Wil Cordero and leadoff man Brad Wilkerson each a crack to drive him home with the lead run.

"He threw me good pitches," Guzman said of Rockies reliever Jose Acevedo.

Guzman fouled off three of those pitches, a strikeout at a crucial moment that dropped his average to .190.

"I wish my vocabulary was better to describe that situation," Robinson said. "But it's not, so I'll leave it as it is.

Earlier in the day, Guzman received something of a vote of confidence from Robinson, who kept him in the lineup despite his monumental offensive struggles. But his failed bunt attempt could have been the low point on the Nationals' lowest night.


Yet, inexplicably, it got worse. First, Chad Cordero -- the closer pitching in a tie game -- allowed a leadoff single to Garabito. The Rockies bunted him to second, but Cordero then struck out Sullivan. Cordero got Aaron Miles to hit what looked like would be an inning-ending grounder toward the normally slick Castilla, who had already made one error on the night.

"When something goes bad," Castilla said, "it's bad."

That booted ball aside, the Nationals had one last chance to save face. But Jose Vidro was ejected for arguing a called third strike to lead off the bottom of the ninth, and described himself as too upset to talk afterward. Guillen, though, reached on an error, and Wilson walked. With the tying run in scoring position, Robinson sent up Jamey Carroll to pinch-hit for Church against lefty closer Brian Fuentes.

Carroll, a speedy utility player who normally takes pitches, swung at Fuentes's first offering, a fastball. It bounced directly to the shortstop, and the Rockies had little trouble completing a game-ending double play.

It all left Robinson mystified. A lack of concentration? Nervousness? He couldn't figure it out -- or stand for it.

"We just seem like we're in a fog," he said. "We're not thinking."

Offline NatsCaps19

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It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Reply #2: July 19, 2005, 05:11:43 AM »
Quote

"We just seem like we're in a fog," he said. "We're not thinking."


really??  :lol:

Offline Kenz aFan

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It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Reply #3: July 19, 2005, 05:26:33 PM »
Duhhh LOL

Online rileyn

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Re: It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Reply #4: June 07, 2019, 06:51:48 PM »
Frank Robinson called a 3 error game, "the worst game we've played."  The good old days, Man.

Online Mathguy

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Re: It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Reply #5: June 07, 2019, 09:11:38 PM »
Frank was the precursor to Dusty - a great person who did what he could with what he had.  Rizzo needs to be fired for letting Dusty go

Frank Robinson called a 3 error game, "the worst game we've played."  The good old days, Man.

Offline Cinqo de Mayo

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Re: It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Reply #6: June 08, 2019, 01:07:44 PM »
Frank was the precursor to Dusty - a great person who did what he could with what he had.  Rizzo needs to be fired for letting Dusty go

Rizzo wanted to extend Dusty Baker. Ownership overruled him.

Offline machpost

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Re: It Wasn't a Nightmare: Today's Newspapers
« Reply #7: June 08, 2019, 02:30:07 PM »
Rizzo wanted to extend Dusty Baker. Ownership overruled him.

Regarding ownership, I've got to wonder if the passing of the torch from Ted to Mark will lead to more bad decisions.