Morning Juice: At 100, the Nationals again are the biggest losers

This and almost every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts on the Today Show, where funnyman-weatherman Willard Scott wishes the Washington Nationals a happy 100th. Now blow, Tyler Clippard(notes)!

Game of the Day: Dodgers 7, Nationals 6

Capital crimes: For the second time in as many seasons, the Nationals have lost at least 100 games. Not since the San Diego Padres of 1973-74 has an NL team dropped triple-digit games in consecutive years. Historically bad are the Nats, Washington residents for five seasons. They once called themselves a proud franchise, though the Expos also lost 100 games — twice, in their entire 36-year stay in Montreal.

Ignoring politics, this is the worst entertainment offered by our nation's capital since "D.C. Follies."

"I think it's disappointing if you lose more than half your games. Period," said lefty Ron Villone(notes), setting the bar relatively low.

Low, where the Nats hang.

"Where do you go? Where do you look? You look at yourself first. Tonight it was me," said Villone, who allowed a go-ahead home run by Rafael Furcal(notes) in the eighth inning.

Furcal had four hits for the Dodgers, who humored the Nats by losing the night before, staying for 24 hours the execution of loss No. 100. L.A.'s recovery on Thursday reduced its magic number to one for clinching a playoff spot.

The first five Dodgers batters reached base against J.D. Martin(notes), who heard mock cheers after retiring James Loney(notes) on a strikeout, and then heard "U Can't Touch This," by Hammer on the public address. Hooray, they have a sense of humor at Nationals Park.

Humor is a necessity for this goofball franchise, which can't even spell its own name, and is headed for a last-place finish for the fifth time in six seasons.

"It's a menagerie of things, stuff that didn't go right," reliever Jason Bergmann(notes) explained.

Menagerie. The Nats are a collection of wild animals?

Oh, he means it's a strange group. He said it.

* * *

Feelin' Rundown (a menagerie of results):

Cubs 3, Giants 2: Brian Wilson dread. ... It figures, even coincidentally, that old Rockie Jeff Baker(notes) would crush the Giants playoff hopes a little more with a two-run, two-out, two-strike homer in the ninth inning.

Based on this photo, Kevin Frandsen(notes) (cap) and Panda would make for a good new Jerky Boys duo, if they ever revive that franchise in film form.

Reds 4, Pirates 1: G-20 also stands for the Pirates' season-ending 20-game losing streak that's apparently in progress.

Padres 5, Rockies 4: I'm not saying the Rockies are feeling the squeeze, even though they've lost seven of 11 and their wild card lead on the Braves is down to three games in the losses column. For some reason I don't like this quote from Jim Tracy:

"The mathematics are totally in our favor," he said. "If we can win a few baseball games, we're going to make it."

It was my understanding there would be no math, but he's right. Especially if they take two of three from the Cardinals over the weekend, they're going to be OK. But the Rockies aren't solving math problems. They're playing baseball games. I feel they might be cruising for a bruising.

I just wish Tracy would say, "We need to get our act together." That's probably as harsh as he'd get.

Tigers 6, Indians 5: Naysayers will see 11 straight losses, one from tying the Indians' 78-year-old team record. But manager Eric Wedge called a team meeting and the Tribe made progress. In the third inning, they took a lead for the first time since Sept. 15, a span of 70 innings. And that lead lasted ... until the fourth.

Phillies 9, Brewers 4: No need for a closer in this one, but the Fightins gave up two runs in the ninth inning anyway just so they didn't mess with their feng shui. ... Charlie Manuel, needing a lefty in the bullpen in case Scott Eyre(notes) and J.C. Romero(notes) can't go in October, is thinking about using J.A. Happ(notes) in late relief.

Get a load of the probably verbatim quote about Happ from Cholly that appeared in the AP story:

"There's a chance he could wind up in the back end of the bullpen if we don't get something straightened out," Manuel said. "Like if Romero don't come back or something. I'm not saying we're going to do that, but we're going to talk about it, if we don't have no lefty."

Now look at the corrected grammar version done by's Todd Zolecki:

"There would be a chance that he could wind up in the back end of our bullpen if we don't get some things straightened out and Romero doesn't come back or something," Manuel said. "I'm not going to say we're going to do that, but we're going to talk about it if we don't have any lefties."

I correct grammar all of the time in quotes, so I don't see anything wrong with Todd cleaning up ol' Cholly. But I have to say, I could almost hear Manuel, in his southern country tone, say "... if we don't have no lefty," in the AP version.

Athletics 12, Rangers 3: Like a noble animal with a gangrenous hind leg caught in a rusty bear trap out in the wilderness, the Rangers need someone to put them out of their collective misery and eliminate them from the playoff race. It's the right thing to do, Tampa Bay Rays.

Mariners 5, Blue Jays 4: His Majesty, Felix I.

Red Sox 10, Royals 3: Attacked by a cold, Clay Buchholz(notes) took some nighttime-sniffling-sneezing-coughing-aching-stuffy head-fever-so-you-can-pitch medicine and tossed a shutout into the seventh.