This article on the Nationals' 5-4 loss tonight to the Colorado Rockies is one in a series entitled, "Washington Nationals Find A New Way To Lose", that began on April 23, 2009** with the first edition describing the error-filled ninth inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in which the Nationals allowed 5 runs to cross, turning a 4-4 tie into a 9-4 Cards' romp. Then on May 23rd** came another game report entitled, "The Washington Nationals Find a New Way To Lose. 4-2 After O's Reliever Danys Baez's First Hit Keeps Inning Alive", which recounted how the veteran reliever's first career hit helped the Orioles win an Interleague game in DC. And, finally, just a few weeks back on June 13th**, we saw the normally sure-handed Nick Johnson drop a pop fly in foul territory in Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field, a pitch before a two-out HR gave the Rays a one-run lead at home in the bottom of the eighth. 3 outs later and the Nationals' 43rd loss was in the books...A Nick Johnson error followed by a HR on the next pitch...that too was a new way to lose...
How did the Nationals lose tonight? (After The Jump)...
Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
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• Beimel's Curve To Second.
• Zimmermann's Struggles.
• Guzman, Guzman, Guzman...
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 24-57.
Beimel's Curve To Second.
DC lefty Joe Beimel entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning tonight with one out, the score tied at 4-4 and two Rockies' runners on courtesy of Julian Tavarez, who'd issued two one-out walks before DC Manager Manny Acta had seen enough. Beimel's called on to face pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs, and with a 1-0 fastball outside, he gets a grounder back to the mound, but Beimel's throw sails over Cristian Guzman, who arrives late at second, and into Willie Harris' glove where he backs up the attempted double play. Harris' throw to first is too late, and so instead of an inning ending DP, it's bases loaded, with Clint Barmes at bat. Barmes lines a 1-1 fastball to center, Carlos Gonzalez, the first to walk, tags and scores, 5-4 Rockies...
• Zimmermann's Struggles.
DC righty Jordan Zimmermann threw 94 pitches, 59 for strikes over 4.0 IP in which he allowed 7 hits, 4 walks and 4 runs, (2 earned). Zimmermann walked the first batter he faced in the first and third, and in the fourth he surrendered a leadoff single and then a double to put two on and allow a sac fly to score the Rockies' second run. 4-2 DC. A third single by Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez and it's first and third with one out. A sac bunt by the Rockies' pitcher Jason Hammel puts both runners into scoring position with two down. Zimmermann gets the ground ball he wants out of Dexter Fowler, but it jumps up and hits Willie Harris...in, uh, it uh...yeah...another run scores 4-3. Clint Barmes takes a 2-2 pitch to right for an RBI single that ties it. 4-4 after four. Zimmermann's done.
• Guzman, Guzman, Guzman...
Cristian Guzman goes 0 for 4, strands three and commits his 12th error of the year. Adam Dunn's 0 for 4 with 3 K's. Josh Willingham hits a solo shot in the second, and Ryan Zimmerman goes to straight center with a three-run blast in the third. Zimmerman grounds into a DP after back to back singles start the fifth, and Adam Dunn K's swinging to strand Nyjer Morgan at third. Nyjer Morgan K's looking with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth. Adam Dunn K's swinging after Johnson and Zimmerman both reach base to start the seventh. Josh Willingham and Cristian Guzman follow with groundouts. Austin Kearns hits a two-out pinch hit single in the eighth and then gets picked off, and falls as he's trying to avoid being tagged. In the ninth the Nationals go down in order and it's 5-4 Rockies in the end.
Washington Nationals At Colorado Rockies. Game 81 or 82 of 162.
Nyjer Morgan almost beats out a weak grounder that drops in the grass in front of the plate. Nick Johnson uses his Discerning Eye to draw a one-out walk from Rockies’ righty Jason Hammel. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to short, Ian Stewart to Clint Barmes to Todd Helton, double play to end the top of the first...Jordan Zimmerman walks Dexter Fowler. What? Yep...huh? Zimmermann doesn’t like it either so he picks Fowler off first, (cue rundown), he’s out. Clint Barmes singles, steals second as Todd Helton K’s swinging and scores when Brad Hapwe singles through second for a 1-0 Rockies’ lead. Wilingham gets a bad first step, but charges in to catch the final out of the first off Tulowitzki’s bat.
Adam Dunn swings through a high two-strike fastball upstairs. Josh Willingham hits one so high it gets caught on the wind, and it’s, out, HR!! 1-1 ballgame. Cristian Guzman grounds out to Todd Helton at first. Josh Bard watches a long fly ball he thinks in gone and ends up with a single when it bounces off the wall. Willie Harris grounds to second to end the frame...Ian Stewart grounds out to Willie Harris at second. Chris Iannetta grounds back to the mound. Carlos Gonzalez walks when a fastball sails wide. Jason Hammel singles up the middle with two down. Dexter Fowler goes down swinging through Zimmermann’s 79mph bender.
Jordan Zimmermann leads off the third, with a single to right that he doesn’t ever realize stays fair, as he trots to first. Nick Johnson hits a trademark single through second, NJ™. Ryan Zimmerman gets a fastball he likes and he takes it to deeeep center and GONE!!! HR, 4-1 Nationals. Adam Dunn flies out to Brad Hawpe in right. Josh Willingham singles to center to bring up Guzman. Willingham steals second with Guzman at bat, but Guzman pops out to short left to end the Nationals’ third...Jordan Zimmerman walks Clint Barmes to start the home half of the fourth. Todd Helton rips one, right into Zimmermann’s glove, toss to first, two down. Brad Hawpe grounds to short, Guzman’s throw ends the inning.
Josh Bard grounds out to Barmes at second. Willie Harris grounds out to Helton. Jordan Zimmermann makes Jason Hammel waste eight pitches before he K’s swinging....Troy Tulowitzki holds his back shoulder up high, wags his bat and hits a blooper to right for a leadoff single. Ian Stewart provides all the power on a slow curve from Zimmermann that ends up hitting the base of the wall in right center. Tulowizki to third. Adam Dunn gets to Chris Iannetta’s line drive, but he doesn’t bother throwing it in, Tulowitzki scores, 4-2 DC. Carlos Gonzalez drops another short fly into right in front of Willingham, Stewart to third. Hammel gets down a succesful sac bunt. Second and third for Fowler. Fowler’s grounder hops up and hits Harris in the "groin", run scores, Fowler safe. 4-3 DC.Clint Barmes goes the other way with a fastball inside and knocks in the tying run, 4-4 ballgame. ZImmermann walks Todd Helton to load the bases for Hawpe. Zimmermann gets a swinging K with a brutal two-strike slider.
Nyjer Morgan singles to center and takes second when Nick Johnson does the same, NJ™. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to third, Ian Stewart to Barmes to Helton, double play. Hammel’s heater keeps rising and Dunn K’s swinging to end the Nationals’ half of the fifth....Jason Bergmann pops Tulowitzki up to left. Ian Stewart grounds out to first. Chris Iannetta K’s swinging over a two-strike curve to end the fifth.
Josh Willingham grounds to Ian Stewart deep in the hole at third, Stewart makes the throw. Cristian Guzman flies out to left field for the second out. Josh Bard can’t be stopped, he singles and hobbles to first. Willie Harris lines to right, and Bard toughs out the distance between second and third. Ronnie Belliard hits for Bergmann and walks to load’em up for Nyjer Morgan. Franklin Morales replaces Jason Hammels. Morgan battles back from 0-2 but K’s on a 2-2 heater inside at 93 mph...Sean Burnett takes over on the mound for DC. Carlos Gonzalez flies out behind second, Willie Harris handles it. Burnett gets over to over on Franklin Morales’ groundout. Dexter Fowler goes down swinging.
Nick Johnson takes his base on a curve that gets too far inside. Ryan Zimmerman reaches safely when Troy Tulowitzki can’t throw to first in time. Adam Dunn lays off a 2-2 bender, but K’s swinging through a fastball. One down. Franklin Morales exits. Juan Rincon comes on. Josh Willingham grounds into a force at third after Tulowitzki makes a diving play to rob the Hammer. Guzman grounds out to second to end the threat....Cristian Guzman fields and throws out Clint Barmes. Todd Helton grounds out to second, Harris to Johnson, two down. Brad Hawpe hits a two-out single to right. Tulowitzki’s groundou...Guzman boots it, Hawpe takes third. Ian Stewart K’s swinging to end the inning.
Rockies’ righty Joel Peralta gets Josh Bard swinging and gets a fly ball to center from Willie Harris. Austin Kearns gets a PH appearance, and he singles...Kearns? Yes he does, sharp grounder through second with two down. Austin Kearns gets caught leaving early, and he trips, falls face first in the dirt and gets tagged out....Julian Tavarez gets a quick K out of Iannetta, but then walks Carlos Gonzalez, who quickly steals second. Seth Smith walks in a PH appearance. Ryan Spilborghs hits for Fowler. Joe Beimel on for Tavarez. Spilborghs grounds to Beimel, who turns and throws...over second, Willie Harris backs up, fires to first, too late. Sac fly from Barmes scores what should be the game winner, 5-4 Rockies. Smith tries to tag too and is out to end the inning between second and third.
Huston Street gets a groundout to short from Nyjer Morgan. Nick Johnson rips a line drive to left center, Ryan Spilborghs makes the play. Ryan Zimmerman K’s swinging over a 1-2 slider. Rockies win, 5-4 final.
Nationals now 24-57.