There's another chapter in the strange tale of my current favorite sad-sack team, the 2009 Washington Nationals. Tuesday night's 8-5, 10-inning loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates marked the sixth consecutive game in which the Nats scored at least five runs and still lost. According to STATS, LLC such a streak has only happened three times before. Amazingly, two other teams have done it in this decade, 2004 Cincinnati Reds and 2005 Texas Rangers. The 1929 Pirates were the first team to accomplish this dubious feat.
“We continue to put runs on the board,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “This is the 10th game in a row where we score five or more runs—and we’re 1-9. That tells you the story right now.”
Yeah, it kinda does. This latest loss wasted a Nationals' rally from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game; they had the potential winning run at second with one out in the 9th but couldn't break the tie. At 11-27, Washington has the worst record in the majors, and the Nats' woeful bullpen's contribution is a dismal 1-14 record. You have to feel for guys like Cristian Guzman, Adam Dunn and especially Ryan Zimmerman, who are putting up big numbers at the plate.
Going into Tuesday the Nats are 28th of 30 teams in home attendance, averaging 20,256 per game; their top four crowds this season have been bolstered by fans headed down I-95 to see the 2008 World Series champion Phillies.