Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Start West Coast Trip On Bad Note

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Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into this ten game road trip, it was well known that the Washington Nationals needed to get off to a good start in what has been considered a make-or-break trip. After beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 on Monday night, the Nats did not score a run over the final 19 innings of the series.

It was a tall order to begin with when you go up against two of the best pitchers in the National League in Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. Unless the Nats make the postseason and see Greinke and Kershaw again, they would have not scored a run against either pitcher in 30 combined innings this season.

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While Bryce Harper was back in the lineup last night after missing Tuesday’s game with a sore left knee, he did not look like his usual self. Harper went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, which came in his last two at-bats of the game.

Despite the loss, Jordan Zimmermann was able to match Kershaw by giving up one run on two hits (both to Carl Crawford), but it would not be enough in the end. Drew Storen would give up a couple insurance runs in the eighth, but Harper and Anthony Rendon had a bad defensive relay, which ended with Rendon throwing the ball out of play and allowing two runners to score.

With the Nats’ back-to-back losses and the Mets having won the first three games of their series against the Rockies, the Nats are 3.5 games back in the NL East with 49 games to go.

Before Stephen Strasburg takes on Ryan Vogelsong tonight when the Nats begin a series against the Giants (10:10 PM ET, MASN + MLB Network), here are my takeaways from last night’s 3-0 loss:

Next: Zimmermann The Unlucky Loser