Washington Nationals Recap: Nats Offense Goes Quiet In 2-0 Loss To Braves
The Washington Nationals (80-78) played their second game in their last season series against the Atlanta Braves (64-94) and the second game looked like the first. The Nats could not get hits with runners on base, but unlike last night, they could not find a way to get on the scoreboard. The Braves managed to score two runs off Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann, which ended up being the difference in a 2-0 Braves win.
Zimmermann may have made his last start in a Nationals uniform, depending upon what happens in the offseason. He deserved a better fate than losing because his teammates could not score a run. He went six innings, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out one, and walked one on 82 pitches (53 strikes) in the loss.
Bryce Harper went 0-for-4 and he has been held hitless by the Braves pitching during this series. This is not a good time for Harper to go into a slump with both the NL batting title and home run title on the line.
The Braves sent rookie Williams Perez to the mound for the start. Perez and Zimmermann both went six innings but Perez had the better start, score wise, because the Nationals, despite having nine base runners, could not push a run across the plate while Perez was pitching. The Nats as a whole were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
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The Braves got on the board in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Nick Markakis doubled to left and A.J. Pierzynski singled him home to give the Braves a one run lead. It was Pierzynski’s third RBI in the last two games.
The Braves scored again with two outs in the bottom of the second. Andrelton Simmons started the inning with a single, but was out on a fielder’s choice hit into by Todd Cunningham. After Perez sacrificed Cunningham to second, Michael Bourn singled to right field to drive him in and put Atlanta ahead, 2-0.
That was the extent of the scoring in this game. The lone hit with men in scoring position was by Zimmermann, who singled to center with one out in the fifth inning. Clint Robinson had two hits and Michael Taylor and Anthony Rendon each had a double during the game.
As for the Nationals’ bullpen,Sammy Solis pitched two scoreless innings after Zimmermann left the game and he looked very effective in retiring all six batters he faced.
Next Game: The Nationals finish their last series of the year against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night. Game time is 7:10 p.m. EST. Stephen Strasburg (10-7, 3.63 ERA) pitches for Washington and Ryan Weber (0-2, 5.91 ERA) will take the mound for Atlanta. The game will be broadcast on MASN.
Next: District Daily: How Nats Unraveled After Papelbon Deal