Nats fail to impress new owners, drop another to Marlins

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jabbing his finger on a table for emphasis,
Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson did not mince his

He let his thoughts flow freely minutes after watching his club
reach a new low during an all-around poor performance, from Livan
Hernandez's pitching to just about everyone's hitting, that
produced an 11-3 loss to the Florida Marlins on Thursday night.

"I'm embarrassed for this team, because the fans are coming out
here and being very supportive, and we're not giving them what they
deserve. Not even close. And I'm surprised they're not throwing
things at us," Robinson said.

"We deserve whatever they might do or say. I'm amazed they're
still coming out here. I wouldn't pay to see us."

Imagine what must be going through the minds of the people who
were picked Wednesday to pay $450 million for the right to own the
Nationals. Some, including future team president Stan Kasten, were
at Thursday night's game, a few hours after participating in the
ceremonial groundbreaking for a $611 million stadium project.

They saw the Nationals lose for the 10th time in 12 games --
including two straight to the rebuilding Marlins, who until this
visit to D.C. hadn't won a series this season.

"It's big for our club, because it's the first time we've done
it, first time we've won a series, first time we've won a couple of
games in a row on the road," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.

Miguel Cabrera paced Florida's 12-hit attack by going 3-for-3
with two doubles and five RBI. Outfielder Joe Borchard, getting
his first start for the Marlins after being claimed off waivers
from Seattle, delivered three singles, while rookies Hanley Ramirez
and Dan Uggla each scored three times.

Hernandez (1-4) allowed seven runs on six hits over five
innings. Curiously, he again struggled in the first inning,
allowing three runs.

Perhaps more exasperating, the burly right-hander was the only
member of Washington's lineup with a hit through the first six
innings, a two-run double off Josh Johnson (2-2) in the second.
That was the only scoring off Johnson, who went five innings.

Washington's top four hitters in the starting lineup -- Marlon
Byrd, Jose Vidro, Alfonso Soriano and Nick Johnson -- went a
combined 0-for-13.

"The offense stinks. The pitching and fielding has been spotty.
Too many mental mistakes and certainly too many physical
mistakes," Robinson said.

Washington fell to 1-9 at home, 9-20 overall, and only one NL
team has lost more games: The Pittsburgh Pirates, who, as luck
would have it, arrive Friday for a three-game series.

"I guarantee you, starting tomorrow, we will play better,"
Robinson said, "and I will manage better."

Hernandez, who had offseason surgery on his right knee, went to
3-0 counts on the first two hitters of the game, walking both, and
drawing a mound visit from Robinson. The boos and whistles from the
crowd of 20,984 -- the sixth straight home attendance lower than any
in 2005 for the Nationals -- began there.

Cabrera then ripped a 63 mph pitch to left for a two-run double.
Wes Helms' RBI groundout made it 3-0, raising Hernandez's
first-inning ERA to 19.29.

"A lot of people are frustrated, like me," Hernandez said. "I
know I can pitch better. I know I can do it, but it's not

It's not happening for anyone on the club that was the feel-good
story of 2005, surprisingly leading the NL East into July with a
50-31 start.

"We're just going through a really tough spot right now," said
Guillen, who's hitting .236. "We've got to find a way to start
producing and play the way were capable."

Florida tacked on two more runs in the second inning, and Josh
Willingham's sixth homer of the year, a two-run shot off Hernandez,
made it 7-2 in the fifth. The next inning, things got worse with
left-hander Joey Eischen on in relief of Hernandez after
pinch-hitting for him.

Ramirez's hard liner went right at first baseman Johnson and hit
off his glove for an infield single. Then shortstop Damian Jackson
made a throwing error on Uggla's grounder, allowing another run to
score. Carbera's double down the right-field line made it 10-2, and
there was some sarcastic hootin' and hollerin' when Eischen struck
out Helms for the second out. Right away, though, Borchard's RBI
single made it 11-2.

It all helped Johnson earn his first major league victory in a

"I'll remember this for a long time," he said. "When you're
winning, it's always fun."

Game notes
Florida is 8-18. ... Cabrera's five RBI matched his total
from the previous 16 games.