No baseball team has been worse at home this season than the Washington Nationals.
No, not even the humble Cincinnati Reds.
Overall, the Nationals are one of the worst teams in the major leagues, but the version of the club that DC fans have witnessed in the first five weeks of the season is even worse.
Washington’s 4-1 loss to the New York Mets on Thursday afternoon cut its home record to a dismal 4-13. Thursday’s theme was similar to many of the team’s previous losses — too many walks, sloppy play and inconsistent hitting.
The Nationals entered one of four MLB teams on Thursday with more than 10 home losses. The other clubs are the Tigers (6-12), the Cubs (4-11) and the Rangers (5-10). Not exactly the best company.
Believe it or not, the Reds are off to a 3-23 start and enter Thursday with a league-worst record of 7-24 and a 5-9 record in Cincinnati this spring.
Included in the Nationals’ worst home win percentage of 0.235 is the team’s eight-game home losing streak in April — the offense’s total of just 16 losses.
Nationals head coach Dave Martinez said before Thursday’s game that he and the coaching staff recognized problems with the team’s home performance. But exactly what the problem is is unclear, as the Nationals captain said the team’s mentality on the road (7-9 record) is not much different than at home.
“We definitely have to play better at home. That’s something I talk about with the coach,” Martinez said. “[On Wednesday], we played well. Some games I think we played well, we just didn’t finish the game. “
Martinez added that a common denominator in teams’ losses is sloppiness, whether it’s turnovers, walks or base-running errors.
“We play it every day,” he said ahead of Thursday’s rubber game. “We just need to limit our mistakes.”
The good news on Thursday was that the Nationals didn’t make any mistakes. Washington ranks third worst in the majors with 0.81 turnovers per game, which Martinez called “lazy turnovers” after a 4-2 loss on Tuesday with two turnovers.
The bad news, however, is that starting pitcher Joan Arden can’t continue the trend a day after Martinez praised the team’s pitchers for not knocking down a single hitter in Wednesday’s 8-3 win.
The 23-year-old right-hander walked five of the top 10 hitters he faced on Thursday — three in first and two in second — on his way to his sixth loss .
After walking the first loaded base, left fielder Mark Kanha hit a two-pointer to give New York an early lead. After hitting the batter in the fourth inning — his sixth free base allowed — Adon allowed Thomas Nido to RBI singles to end his day in just 3 2/3 innings.
Arden also walked five in the previous game against the Angels and allowed three softballs in five of his seven games. His 7.03 scoring average is the worst of any national team starter, with more than four appearances, and his six losses are the most of any major league pitcher.
Somehow, though, Adong’s fickleness wasn’t the most sloppy part of Thursday’s loss.
After hitting a double in the fourth inning, Juan Soto made an inexplicable error on base to run to third on a grounder in front of him. He was flagged in the knockout and then didn’t leave the base road, who had a role in Josh Bell before getting knocked out in the same match.
Soto and Bell would be the last two players to hit second base for the Nationals, who only hit four hits until Soto hit two homers in the ninth.
Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker won after his best start to the season. The 29-year-old former top prospect has kept the Nationals’ popular bat — 6.2 points per game over the past 11 games — by pitching mixed, allowing just three hits and one-in-seven stoppages. .
Kanha played again for the Mets in the ninth inning, hitting off second Steve Sishek. In addition to single shots, Washington’s bullpen was stingy, as Erasmo Ramirez, Carl Edwards Jr., Kyle Finnegan and Cishek allowed just two hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings.
The Nationals (11-22) started another three-game home series on Friday against the Dusty Baker-led Houston Astros.