May 1, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) reacts after being removed from the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. The Diamondbacks defeated the Nationals 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Game 23: Diamondbacks 5, Nationals 1


Despite Bryce Harper’s callup, the Nationals’ offense is still ice cold. Get well soon, Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman.

Jordan Zimmermann (L, 1-2) allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, in 6.1 innings, which was more than enough for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Trevor Cahill, who kept the punch-less Nats offense in check and drove the Nationals (14-9) to their fifth straight loss.

Despite his subpar performance tonight, Zimmermann’s ERA remains at a scanty 1.89, but he continues to suffer from anemic run support. Behind him, Ryan Mattheus and recent call-up Ryan Perry combined to allow 1 run in 2.2 IP. This was an unusually poor performance by the pitching, but it is a testament to their ability to say so. Tonight’s 5 runs was the greatest amount of runs the Nationals have allowed since an 11-4 loss to Houston on April 19th. However, no pitching staff can ever succeed without a consistent offense behind it.

You know something is dreadfully wrong when a converted pitcher hits 3rd. That was the case tonight, as Rick Ankiel took his turn filling Ryan Zimmerman’s unoccupied 3 hole. Tonight was the 5th consecutive game during which the team has been held to 2 or fewer runs, coinciding perfectly with the active 5-game losing streak. The Nats are now 27th in baseball in runs scored, 28th in batting average, and dead last in slugging percentage. Not to be overlooked is the fact that tonight was Bryce Harper’s home debut, which was celebrated lukewarmly by a 50% capacity crowd and an 0-3 night.

Champ of the Game: Ian Desmond, who was the lone bright spot in the offense, going 2-4 with an RBI.

For the Diamondbacks, Trevor Cahill threw 7 1/3 innings and allowed only one run.

Chump of the Game: This honor goes to the entire Nats offense minus Desmond and Lombardozzi (also 2-4), which went 2-24 (.083) with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts.

No D-Back played especially poorly, as no pitcher allowed more than 1 run and every batter, except the pitcher, had at least one hit, RBI, or run scored.

Unsung Hero: Lombardozzi, who went 2-4 in the 2nd spot and continued to play third passably in Zimmerman’s absence.

Paul Goldschmidt went 3-4 with a run scored for Arizona.

Next Game: May 2nd, 7:05, at Nationals Park. Saunders (2-1, 0.90) v. Jackson (1-1, 3.16)

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Tags: Bryce Harper Jordan Zimmermann Washington Nationals