Once again the Nationals bats could not find the ball in San Diego last night as the club dropped its sixth game in a row last night, 7-0.
The Nationals only combined for four hits Wednesday, all of which were singles. These pokes came form Willie Harris in the leadoff spot, Adam Dunn batting third and Ryan Zimmerman had two in the cleanup position.
John Lannan took the mound for the Nationals last night and again struggled. The lefty earned his 10th loss of the season in a campaign that saw him toss only five innings, allow five earned runs on six this and walk four. The appearance leaves the Nationals ace, Lannan, winless since August 5th when he topped the Marlins. While Lannan’s last start saw him earn no decision in eight excellent innings of work, his previous seven starts saw him struggle to get out of the fifth inning.
Since the Nyjer Morgan injury against the Cubs on August 27th the Nationals are 0-6. They are averaging only 1.5 runs per game, and only 6.3 hits per game. While this isn’t exact quantifiable evidence that Morgan directly impacts the clubs offensive ability, it certainly is a strong correlation.
If the Nationals don’t figure something out, it will be an ugly limp to the end of the season.
Breaking down the Nats futility, Chico Harlan wrote in the WaPo's Nationals Journal:
"In three games against the Padres, the Nats had a .172 team batting average with two extra base hits. Go back even further, and Washington has scored just nine runs during this six-game losing streak. The Washington lineup, on Wednesday, didn't manage any base hits between the first and eighth innings against Kevin Correia. And get this: In a four-inning stretch, from the second to the fifth, no Nationals player managed an at-bat that went longer than four pitches."
Joe Sheehan wrote in Prospectus Today about the development of Justin Maxwell, or lack there of:
"Justin Maxwell is a bit like Walker, although I think the hype around him was mostly me buying too much into the opinion of a guest on a radio show I co-hosted about two years ago. I’m not going to sell out the analyst, who is a very good one who’s been doing this since I was working in QuarkXpress every day. Suffice to say they liked Maxwell a whole lot. He lost his 2008 season to a wrist injury then had a strikeout-plagued 2009 one, and now the Nationals have Nyjer Morgan, so it’s not clear that Maxwell has any hope in DC, but Morgan’s injury probably gives him two weeks to impress the team. He batted leadoff and played center field last night, and will do so until Morgan returns or he shows he can’t do the job."