Friday, September 02, 2005


We hear a lot about how the Nationals are built to win games via good pitching and fundamentally sound baseball. The reality of the situation is quite different. The Nats often cannot execute a sacrifice bunt and make a bunch of mental errors on a fairly routine basis.

Case in point is last night's game:

The team that has scored the fewest runs in baseball, including a whopping 10 in its previous five games, suddenly decided it could afford to squander a couple of runs on the base paths -- once, when Castilla forgot the number of outs and got doubled off first base on a fly ball to center in the fourth inning, and another, an inning later, when Carlos Baerga ran toward third base when it was already occupied by Byrd.

"I've been preaching to the guys out there, if you . . . keep making these silly mistakes, it comes back to haunt you in close ballgames, ballgames you should win," Robinson said afterward. "You're taking away opportunities from yourselves. We're beating ourselves more often than we're getting beat."

So much for fundamentals.

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