Last night in San Francisco, Pedro Sandoval hit a 2-out, 2-strike offering from Joe Beimel over everything to give the Giants a come-from-behind 9-7 victory. Standard issue walk-off, jumping up and down by the home team, tough one for the vistors. Move along, nothing to see here.
If only it were that easy for the 6 or 7 fans left in Washington. Teejay's led the charge in chronicling Team Lerner's ongoing experiment in civic torture in the G:TB comments section, but in the spirit of our government's new transparency, we're throwing the sunlight on the Nats' bullpen's body of work in a effort to expose the putrescence and excorcise the demons. We won't be using any names because a) the list is too long, and b) we have at least a little compassion.
Herewith, in chronological order, the story of Manny Acta's firemen:
April 13 vs. Philadelphia 9, Nats 8 - Uncle Cholly's boys plate 5 in the 7th and 8th innings to ruin the Nats' home opener.
April 17 vs. Florida 3, Nats 2 - single tallies in the 9th and 10th provide the Marlins' winning margin.
April 18 vs. Florida 9, Nats 6 - not satisfied with blowing a win in mildly tough fashion, the Nats give up 3 in the 9th and 3 more in the 11th to fall to the Marlins. The grumbling reaches near fever pitch as Washington's record skids to 1-9.
April 19 vs. Florida 7, Nats 4 - sorry, make that 1-10, as the home team allows 4 runs in the 9th to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
April 27 @ Philadelphia 13, Nats 11 - Manny's boys manage to go 8 days without a meaningful bed-wetting, but make it a doozy to make up for the streak of moderate competence, giving up 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th to the Phightins.
April 30 vs. St. Louis 9, Nats 4 - in one of my personal favorites, the Nats treat the home crowd to a nail-biter, entering the 9th deadlocked with the Central-leading Redbirds. And then give up 5 runs to send the fans home deflated once again.
May 6 @ Los Angeles 10, Nats 3 - in a real team effort, the bullpen joined starter Daniel Cabrera in giving up 8 runs in the 6th and 7th innings to turn a close contest into a comedy routine. Nats had the last laugh after that pederast Hanrahan found Manny Ramirez' stash.
May 10 @ Arizona 10, Nats 8 - good-guy Nats hand rookie manager A.J. Hinch his maiden victory, allowing 5 runs in the 6th through 8th innings. Who says nice guys finish last? Oh.
May 12 @ San Francisco 9, Nats 7 - the above-mentioned Pedro Sandoval waited until the last moment to add one more dollop of gack to the Nats' bullpen recipe.
The 10-21 Nats can legitimately trace 9 losses to their dreadful, awful, horrific, turrible, not very good at all bullpen (1-10, 6.02 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, .828 OPS against). Turn half of those to wins, and they're only 3 games behind the Mets in the decidedly average NL East, with decent young starting pitching and a respectable major league offense. (We'll remain notably quiet regarding the Nats' defensive abilities.)
What you're doing Messrs. Lerner and Kasten, we're not seeing it.