(Roger Bernadina beat Jose Guillen's throw in the sixth inning on Strasmas. He was called out. Grainy photo of TV/MASN by Nationals Enquirer staff.)
"I was shocked."
(Roger Bernadina, via Washington Post, 6/24/2010)
Yes, no matter what angle you watch the replay from, Roger Bernadina beat Jose Guillen's throw to the plate in the sixth inning Wednesday. Should've been a 1-1 tie. Strasburg off the hook. But Hunter Wendlestedt blew the call. The Nats seem to be on the receiving end like that far too often this season.
But the fact that we're still agonizing over a single run in the sixth inning against Brian Bannister and the Royals just amplifies the Nats' offensive woes. The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore points out that they've scored four runs or less in nine straight games, hitting .203 with a .248 OBP. Chances are if Wendlestedt got the call right and the Nationals tie that game yesterday, we'd probably find ourselves here this morning complaining about a 2-1 loss and a no-decision for Strasburg.
And let's say that run scored and the floodgates opened and the Nationals exploded for, like, another run or two, it's possible we would have been deprived of the Great Ray Knight v. Rob Dibble Catfight of 2010. Score another one for Ray, by the way.
So what's the answer to the Nats' offensive woes? Continue to mix and match and move the deck chairs around until the bats come around? Josh Willingham sort of threw Nyjer Morgan under the bus after the game in his postgame comments. There might be something to it:
"We have a good offense on paper. We've got to start from the top. When Nyjer plays well, it helps our offense. We've just been really inconsistent."
(Josh Willingham, via Nats Insider, 6/23/2010)
We have the answer:
Make Strasburg hit leadoff.