After the end of quite possibly the worst week in Washington Nationals history, it’s now official: the 2015 edition of the Nationals will go down as one of the most disappointing teams of any sport in recent memory.

Washington Nationals’ Michael Taylor (3) celebrates after four runs scored on his bases-loaded single, with an error by New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, as Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) walks back to the mound during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Despite winning eight of 11 games played from Aug. 27 to Sept. 6, Washington fans knew their team had to beat the NL East division-leading New York Mets in a three-game set for Sept. 7-9 for any chance of winning the division. But Washington failed to pull it off, losing all three games of the series. Unsurprisingly, the final two losses of that group of games could have been placed at the feet of team manager Matt Williams, with his continued fumbling of the bullpen.

Game One of the series against New York was primarily ruined by a poor showing from ace pitcher Max Scherzer, who gave up three homers and five runs total. But beyond that was Williams’ inexplicable reasoning in letting Scherzer bat in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs and runners on second and third base.  One could understand the strategy if Scherzer was on his game, but he was clearly not. So, of course, he grounded out, which turned out to be the last time the offense had a chance to score.

If you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Nats fans in the final two games of the series, you were sorely mistaken.  Mets ace pitcher Matt Harvey was tattooed for seven runs in the worst start of his career in Game Two, as the Nats took a 7-1 lead into the seventh inning behind six strong innings from starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.  But what took place in the seventh inning was nothing short of embarrassing. The Nats had to use four relief pitchers in the inning alone as they gave up six total walks and six runs to give up the lead.  “Leading” the way was former closer-turned-setup man Drew Storen, who walked three batters himself and gave up the game-tying double to Mets’ Yoenis Céspedes.

Williams put the icing on the embarrassment cake by calling for batter Anthony Rendon to bunt with no outs, with a runner on first and his team trailing by one run in the ninth inning of Washington’s heartrending 8-7 loss. Williams knew Rendon was incapable of reaching first base safely in that spot but he still made the egregious call.

With the bullpen in shambles and Matt Williams becoming a national punchline, an ace-level starting pitching performance was sorely needed in Game Three of the Mets series.  Stephen Strasburg delivered with just that, lasting seven strong innings with 13 strikeouts but was handed the loss because Storen continued the awful pattern of choking when the pressure is at its apex.  No one on earth was surprised that Céspedes immediately took Storen deep for a three-run homer to win the game. The man is broken literally and figuratively as he is now out for the season with an injury to his pitching hand.

With those three losses combined, and with national pundits like Keith Law or even John McEnroe – during the US Open – openly criticizing the moves Williams has made during the week, it’s hard to say whether this team can recover with him at the helm.  That is not to say he’s a poor manager, because he’s not. Every move he’s tried to make has backfired spectacularly and someone has to take the fall for it.  The team – besides Bryce Harper – lacks a spine.  That comes from your leader. It will be hard to take the stench out of the nostrils of the Nationals’ fan base without a new voice.