Nationals Struggle with Bats, Lose 4-1


This Jayson Werth RBI was the only one of the game Saturday night. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

A night after being two-hit and shut out for the fifth time this season, the Nationals again struggled with the bats, recording only four hits in a 4-1 loss.

On Friday night it was Lance Lynn shutting the Nats batters down, and on Saturday it was Shelby Miller and the Cardinals bullpen doing the trick.  In the first, the Nats looked poised to take a decisive lead, scoring the first run of the game with an RBI double by Jayson Werth, but the scoring stopped there.

The Cardinals tied the game in the third off of Stephen Strasburg (6-5).  Strasburg and Miller then both traded zeroes until the bottom of the seventh when Matt Adams hit the go ahead home run.  The Cardinals soon added two more, finishing the seventh up 4-1.

Strasburg’s night ended after 6 2/3 innings, surrendering three earned runs on seven hits and one walk with five strike outs.  It was Strasburg’s eleventh straight quality start and his first walk allowed since May 30.

Miller also threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing the one run on four hits and four walks with seven strike outs.  For the season, Miller has now started twice against the Nats with one run allowed in 12 total innings.

For the Cardinals, Randy Choate (1-2) earned the win while throwing one pitch to Denard Span, which resulted in a fielder’s choice.  Trevor Rosenthal finished the ninth for his 19th save.

After starting their current 10-game road trip 5-1 while outscoring the Padres and Giants 32-9, the Nats have now dropped three in a row while being outscored 12-2.  Saturday was the third straight game where they have scored 1 or fewer runs.

The Nats recorded only two hits on Friday night, and Saturday was only slightly better as they recorded four.  The Nats did, however, earn five walks on the night, two of them by Strasburg in an effort to help his own cause.

The Nats are now 5-4 on their road trip and are ½ game behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the East.

Sunday afternoon the Nats look to avoid the sweep with Doug Fister (5-1) facing off against Jaime Garcia (2-0).