We mentioned this fact in last night's Closing Time and it's worth repeating today: As a team, the Washington Nationals now have as many blown saves as they have wins (10). Joe Beimel(notes) was responsible for Tuesday's debacle. He retired the first two batters in the ninth, but then gave up a single, a walk, and a walk-off homer to Pablo Sandoval(notes).
After the game, Washington manager Manny Acta delivered this grim assessment:
"We have tried everybody and their cousins, and we still can't get anybody to put a zero up there in the eighth and the ninth innings ... It's really just killing us. We're going to have to go back to square one."
And when Acta says "square one," he apparently means more Beimel:
"Nobody has shown us that they want to grab the bull by the horn and take charge of the eighth and ninth innings. So we're just going to continue putting them out there and probably give Joe another chance and see what happens."
Joel Hanrahan and bullpen catcher Nilson Robledo sprinted out of the Nats' dugout and ran to the visitors bullpen down the right-field line here at AT&T Park. Any thought that Hanrahan might be a better option than Beimel, though, was quickly vanquished by anyone who saw his first three warmup throws. All three bounced in front of Robledo, the first one rolling all the way to the backstop behind home plate and forcing umpire Tim Timmons to call time out. So it was Beimel, sink or swim.
It turned out to be an Epic Sink.
You hate to jinx a thing like this, but the Nationals bullpen has a chance to be historically bad. According to this blog's research department, the single-season record for blown saves is 34, established by the 2004 Colorado Rockies (almost single-handedly by Shawn Chacon(notes)). The 2009 Nats are on pace for 52. But clearly if any team can blow an opportunity to make history, it's this one.
Photo via AP Images