In my analysis of last night's game, I suggested that while the Nationals surely have had worse days in their history, yesterday's events would still probably rank among the bottom five.
Of course, that then got me thinking: What are the five worst days in Nats history?
I came up with a couple possibilities off the top of my head while driving home last night and thought of a few more this morning, but I'm sure I'm forgetting some. So I'm going to pass this query along your way and seek your input. What days over the past 5 1/2 years still stand out to you as the low points for this franchise?
Here's the only criteria: It had to feel like a terrible day at that moment. You can't look back in hindsight and say now that it was a bad day because of what transpired after it. In other words, you can't say the day they signed Austin Kearns to a three-year extension, or the day the Lerners bought the team. You weren't crying and cursing those events as they happened.
So, here are the handful of possible "worst days in Nats history" I've come up with. Like I said, I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty...
SEPT. 17, 2005: The Nats blow a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth to the Padres, essentially killing their last hopes at reaching the playoffs. After the game, Frank Robinson apologizes to his players for costing them the game with his curious pitching changes.
SEPT. 26, 2006: Nick Johnson breaks his leg after colliding with Austin Kearns chasing a pop-up behind first base at Shea Stadium.
AUG. 16, 2008: The Nationals fail to sign first-round draft pick Aaron Crow when serious negotiations don't begin until 11:44 p.m. When the deadline arrives at midnight, the two sides are $900,000 apart.
FEB. 18, 2009: The Nationals acknowledge that the Dominican shortstop they signed in 2006 for a franchise-record $1.4 million bonus was not actually named Esmailyn Gonzalez and was actually four years older than they believed. That revelation, combined with questions about team officials skimming money from the bonuses given to Dominican prospects, ultimately leads to GM Jim Bowden's resignation 11 days later.
APRIL 5, 2010: On Opening Day at Nationals Park, with President Obama in attendance after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch (in a Nats jacket and White Sox cap), the Nats get creamed by the Phillies, 11-1, in front of a sellout crowd that includes about 20,000 Philly fans who boo the home team.
AUG. 23, 2010: Stephen Strasburg is placed on the disabled list for the second time in a month. The Nationals proceed to get embarrassed 9-1 by a Cubs team whose manager abruptly retired the previous day. Jim Riggleman criticizes his players after the game for their lack of effort.
Those are the days I came up. What are yours? I'll try to compile them all later and publish a "definitive" list of the five worst days in Nats history.