"This is the big leagues. You can't give teams four or five outs." -- Josh Bard, who had an error and passed ball, July 24, 2009.
THE RESULT: The Washington Nationals committed four errors and a passed ball, which led to three unearned runs, and a 6-2 loss to the San Diego Padres, the next-worst team in the National League.
San Diego is now 4-17 in July.
The Nats managed just six hits off Mat Latos (making his second career start) and three Padres relievers, scoring on solo home runs by Cristian Guzman (4) and Ryan Zimmerman (15).
The Nationals have lost 13 of 16 and have the majors' worst record at 28-68. They now have 94 errors in 96 games, far and away the worst in the major leagues.
Friday night's game is the 10th time this year the Nats have made three or more errors in a game this season.
Interim manager Jim Riggleman was pointed in his post-game comments. "We just cannot play that sloppy and have that many errors through this point in the season and just say, 'Well that's baseball. That's OK. They're trying.' No. That's not fair to the fans who come out here and buy these tickets."
Washington starter Garrett Mock, who made his second start since being recalled last week, gave up five runs, three earned, on nine hits and one walk, striking out five, in five and one-third innings.
The Nats made an error and had a passed ball before they recorded an out. Tony Gwynn singled to start the game, took second on a passed ball by Josh Bard that he tried to backhand; instead he whiffed and the ball went to the stone wall, giving Gwynn second base.
Everth Cabrera attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Mock overthrew Nick Johnson at first, and all hands were safe. Gwynn scored on a sacrifice fly and Cabrera later scored on a double to make it 2-0 before most fans were in their seats.
Adam Dunn made an error for the second straight game, misplaying a ball in the corner. Bard later dropped a pop-up up the third baseline, and Jason Bergmann overthrew Johnson in the seventh, which led to another unearned run.
To make matters worse, when the Nats did reach base, they took themselves out of innings.
Johnson led off the second with a single, but was gunned down when Riggleman put on a hit-and-run, which turned into a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play with Josh Willingham providing the strikeout.
THE TAKEAWAY: So much for the extra fielding defense Riggleman is putting the team through before games. Four errors and a passed ball make for a very ugly game.
The Nats actually made good contact off Padres rookie Latos in the first couple of innings, but after the errors and the Willingham/Johnson double play, the team just rolled over.
THE GOOD: Ryan Zimmerman and Cristian Guzman. They both went 2-for-4 with a solo home run.
THE BAD: Willie Harris. He was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the leadoff position.
THE UGLY: Four errors. F-O-U-R. 4. And a passed ball to boot. It's embarrassing and hard to watch.
NEXT GAME: Saturday night for Game Two with the Pads. J.D. Martin (0-1, 11.25) makes his second start against Tim Stauffer (0-1, 2.08).
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