After a rather lackluster outing from the offense yesterday,
nothing was working for the Nationals in the final game of this three game set
against the Braves. The Braves got after Gio Gonzalez early with pinning three
runs on him in a first inning that took him 28 pitches to get through.
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The bottom of the first and the top of the second were
fairly uneventful. Along with the bottom of the second came a second injury
scare in as many days when Danny Espinosa was hit in the hand with a pitch. He
continued to play through the fourth inning before being replaced by Steve
Gio would make it through five innings on 98 pitches, but
not before surrendering another four runs bringing his total to the day to 7.
Zach Duke came in and did exactly what he’s supposed to do: try not to make the
mess any worse and save the bullpen from having to pitch in a game that was by
all accounts at this point, meaningless. Duke allowed two more runs, but they
had no effect on the final outcome.
The Nats offense was utterly nonexistent. They were able to
net four hits over nine innings, two came from the only starter with a hit,
Suzuki, and the rest came from pinch hitters and injury fill-in’s Tracy and
Lombardozzi. Harper and Werth took a walk each and aside from the HBP, that
rounded out the Nats that made it on base this afternoon.
All in all it was a particularly ugly game, but ultimately
it is only the 12th game of the season and being 4 games back of the
Braves in mid-April is nothing to worry about. The Nats have been particularly
out of sync since the start of the season and have managed to go 7-5.
Marlins and Mets next up, the Nats have six games to get things in order before
a particularly tough stretch of series’ from the 22nd of April
through the 8th of May where the Nats will play: 3 vs STL, 4 vs CIN,
4 @ ATL, 3 @ PIT and 2 vs DET before a series to relax some against the Cubs.