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Wasted opportunities

Jul 18, 2010, 3:28 AM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Adam Kennedy is tagged out trying to score from second on a fourth-inning error.

MIAMI — Pick a moment, any moment, from tonight's 2-0 loss to the Marlins. Ian Desmond's dropped popup in the second. Adam Kennedy's out at the plate in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman's home run-turned-foul ball in the seventh.

Now ask yourself: Had any of those plays gone the other way, would the outcome of this game have been different?

There's certainly reason to believe so. Unfortunately for the Nationals, all of those moments went the wrong way, and that's how you lose a ballgame in which you outhit the opposition, 11-4.

The Nats have experienced plenty of losses more crushing than this one, losses in which they blew a late lead, but this might have been among the most aggravating games of the season. You're not going to rack up 11 hits in a game started by Josh Johnson too often. To do that and still not win? Well, that feels like a golden opportunity slipping right through your fingers.

Livan Hernandez certainly deserved a better fate tonight. He turned in one of his best outings of the season — one earned run, four hits, six strikeouts in six innings — and had nothing to show for it at day's end. The big guy now owns a 3.27 ERA and 14 quality starts in 19 outings this season … yet his record is 6-6. Seven times this year heRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    Watching this team has now started to become painful … with that wincing pain the two 100 loss seasons in a row brought … watching Willie Harris flail helplessly as a pinch hitter when there are better pinch hitters on the bench who can be called. If 2009 ROY Coghlan is in left instead of Bonafacio Guzman doesn't get a bloop single. You just can't waste starting pitching + bullpen performances like tonight's. You just can't. That's the hallmark of a 100+ loss team.

  2. bdrube - Jul 18, 2010 at 4:29 AM

    Trade Dunn and they go back to being a potential 100-loss team right now in terms of talent on the field. Imagine how inept this office would be without his presence in the cleanup spot. It might be the "smart" move to unload him but it will make this team virtually unwatchable on any day that SS does not pitch.

  3. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 5:40 AM

    Rizzo gets more value if Dunn leaves via free agency as a type A. He then can select B->A prospects in the draft. At this point he either re-ups Dunn or he gets the picks. Willingham isn't going anywhere either. Now Capps? Or if the right deal involving top of the rotation starting pitching comes along for Jordan Zimmermann …. it appears JZimmnn is the most popular topic of trade discussions. And there's the other Zimmerman who's trade value is listed in the top 10 by Fangraphs.

  4. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Watching this team is extremely painful and beyond that, I have stopped wasting my money going to games. This team deserves to lose it's already meager fan base and that is exactly what is happening. Even with the "Straburg boost" the Nats attendance per game is identical to the hapless Orioles. That speaks volumes. This team is rotten to the core. The starting pitching, except for Strasburg and Livan, is triple A caliber, the defense is pathetic, clutch hitting is non existent, and the base running is an embarrassment.

  5. The Incessant Whiner - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    If we had signed better international players we would have won.

  6. DCJohn - Jul 18, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    It's an unfortunate loss, but look at it this way. The guys who were suppose to be on base when Zim, Dunn, and Hammer came to the plate where there. We can finally say good-bye to Willie Harris and Adam Kennedy and settle on someone, Pete Orr anyone, who can play second and pinch hit. And the arms are coming back. Even the Yankees have games like this one. The real question is can we win today.





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