Jun 26, 2010, 4:55 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Thanks to the Nats' gaffes, the Orioles were the ones celebrating at night's end.
BALTIMORE — Ian Desmond stood before his locker in an otherwise silent Nationals clubhouse, the kind of silence that only accompanies the kind of crushing loss like tonight's debacle at Camden Yards, and tried to sum it up.
"We had 10 different ways to win that game," the rookie shortstop said. "And we lost it 10 different ways."
There's no way to sugarcoat this, no silver lining to make everyone feel better. The Nationals absolutely blew this ballgame, turning a 6-run lead after four innings into an embarrassing 7-6 loss to the Orioles that could have been prevented on any number of fronts.
It starts, of course, with the defense, which committed four more errors tonight resulting in four unearned runs, including the game-winner. But there were plenty other mistakes. The lineup completely let up after taking that 6-0 lead. Tyler Clippard imploded unlike he had at any previous point this season. And Jim Riggleman overmanaged this one to the point it cost his team victory, making pitching changes left and right in the fifth and sixth innings like this was Game 7 of the World Series, not Game 74 of a sub.-500 season.
"We put ourselves in some situations where we didn't bury them, and that's what really hurts out of that loss," said Nyjer Morgan, whose brilliant performance at the plate and in the field was wasted by night's end.
The defensive gaffes were the Nationals' final undoing, but let's talk first about the way Riggleman managed this game. His team up 6-2 with one out in the fifth, he decided to pull starter J.D. Martin, whoRead more »
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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