Aug 24, 2010, 4:10 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez suffered through his worst start of the season.
Sign No. 1 it was a bad night: The manager laments the "aura hanging over us."
Sign No. 2 it was a bad night: Multiple players use the word "embarrassed."
Sign No. 3 it was a bad night: Hours after the franchise's great young hope went on the disabled list for the second time in a month, said ballclub went out and lost 9-1 to a Cubs team whose manager abruptly retired 24 hours earlier.
Surely, there have been worse days in Nationals history. This, however, would probably rank among the bottom five.
As if Stephen Strasburg's return trip to the DL (perhaps for the remainder of the season) wasn't bad enough, the Nats then went out and played a stinker of a ballgame that prompted Jim Riggleman to address his players and demand better effort.
"We've just got to play with more energy," the manager said. "Even though the game is flattening us out because we're out there in the field a long time, we've got to find a way. We've got to turn it up a notch."
"Our guys play hard," he said. "They play with intensity. But it's a 162-game schedule, and you've got to play 162 games. Tonight, I felt like we allowed the game situation — the long innings and stuff, just our body language on the field — it allowed us to have an auraRead more »
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