Slumping Nats Fall Back to .500 before All-Star Break


(July 8-11) Phillies Sink Washington, 3-1, in Series

The Washington Nationals lost five games from July 8-14, including a 3-2 loss in Game One against the Philadelphia Phillies. National’s starter Dan Haren had a decent performance, allowing just two runs and seven hits in five innings pitched. Unfortunately, Washington’s offense couldn’t get going as they recorded just six hits in the entire game. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman were the only positives in the game as both had two hits and each scored a run.

Washington’s offensive woes spilled over into Game Two as they lost, 4-2, against the Phillies. This time the Nationals only recorded seven hits without Harper or Zimmerman recoding one. Jayson Werth had a home run.

Washington was able to flip the script on the Phillies, momentarily, as the bats came alive for a 5-1 win in Game Three. Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos and Anthony Rendon each hit a home run and the team collected 10 hits in the game. Nats ace pitcher Gio Conzalez pitched a strong game, giving up just six hits and one run in seven innings. For his seventh win of the year.

However, the Nationals’ success at the plate ended there as the offense sputtered again, recording just five hits in a 3-1 loss in Game Four. Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann pitched a solid game, giving up just two runs in six innings, but with no offense, Washington earned its third loss of the week.

(July 12-13) Nats Lose Two Straight to Marlins

The losses continued in Game One of Washington’s series against the Miami Marlins. Nats’ young pitcher Stephen Strasburg had perhaps his worst performance of his career, giving up seven earned runs within just two innings pitched before he was yanked from the mound. Washington’s offense wasn’t any better as they recorded just six hits.

The Nats then lost their third straight game in a 2-1 loss in Game Two against the Marlins. Dan Haren pitched a good game, allowing just three hits and no runs in six innings, but Rafael Soriano blew a save in the ninth inning as he gave up a homerun to the Marlins. Washington went on to lose the game in the 10th inning.

Analysis:
After working its way to five-games above a .500 record last week, the Nationals lost 5-of-6 games this week to fall right back to .500. and seven games behind the Atlanta Braves in the race for first place in the National League East division. Washington just can’t find any consistency on offense or defense, which is why they always seem to fall back to the middle of the pack. Strasburg’s struggles are beginning to worry Nats’ fan as the young star pitcher now has a 5-7 losing record on the season.

Nats’ Player of the Week: Gio Gonzalez
Gonzalez was the shining star in the only win for the Nationals this week. He now has a 7-3 record as a starter this season but his record would probably be better, if only his team’s offense played better.

Next-up: Nats pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and outfielder Bryce Harper will perform in the All-Star game on July 16. Washington will then take on L.A. Dodgers at Nationals Park in a three-game series on July 19-21.

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Slumping Nats Fall Back to .500 before All-Star Break

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