(July 19-20) Nats Drop Two to Dodgers
The Washington Nationals stumbled to start the second half of the season, losing two straight games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg opened the First Game strong, despite giving up two runs in the third inning. He gave up just seven hits and held the Dodgers scoreless in six of the seven innings he pitched, but Washington mustered only two runs in a 3-2 loss.
The Second Game of the series was nearly a repeat of the first, as starter Gio Gonzalez’s strong performance was wasted due to a lack of offense from the Nationals’ bats. Gonzalez pitched six innings, recording a dazzling 11 strikeouts while allowing only four hits and no runs, but Washington was only able to score one run in a 3-1 loss.
The Nationals opened the second half of the season just as they closed the first half: in disappointing fashion. Washington just can’t seem to put together a string of consistent performances. If the starting pitchers are playing well, then the bats are struggling. If the bats are alive, the pitching is poor. This inconsistent play has left the Nationals below .500 with a 48-49 record. One more week of inconsistent play and the Nationals may find themselves outside of playoff contention; a major disappointment considering many baseball analysts projected Washington as a World Series contender prior to the season.
Washington will host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game series on July 22 to 25, followed by a three-game series at home against the New York Mets on July 26 to 28.