Seventh inning key in Nats’ defeat

The Nationals had a chance to score at least the tying run in the seventh inning of a 5-4 loss to the Phillies at Nationals Park on Monday.

Down by that same score and Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay on the mound, Washington had Ian Desmond on first and Alex Cora on third with no outs. Rick Ankiel came to the plate for Washington and hit a ground ball to Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco. Cora broke for the plate and was caught in a rundown before being tagged out by Polanco.

Asked if Cora should have been running on contact, manager Jim Riggleman said, “No question. … If you don’t go, they turn two [the double play] on you and you are standing on third. So we are standing on third with two outs. … You have to go there.”

With only one out, the Nationals showed why they are one of the worst offensive teams in the Major Leagues. Danny Espinosa flied out to left field and Jayson Werth struck out swinging to end the inning.

Although Washington had Halladay on the ropes, Espinosa didn’t feel the team picked up a moral victory.

“A loss is a loss. It doesn’t feel any better,” Espinosa said.


One of the Cardinal Sins of baseball is making the first out of an inning at third base. To do so on a mental error is even worse. This was nothing more or less than a mental error. You DO NOT go on contact there because if it is a sharp grounder to the infield, line drive that gets snagged or is hit back to the pitcher it becomes an automatic out if not two. If Riggleman thinks making the first out of an inning at third base is OK then clearly we need a new manager. Even the Little Leaguers that play on my son’s team know NEVER to make the first out at third base.

SO many dopey decisions…. There is some real talent on this team – and some real dogs. Why Stairs receives a pay check is a mystery.

Its getting real hard to support this team.

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