On Sunday afternoon, the
In a 4-3 loss before an announced 31,973 at
"All of us thought we had a chance," LaRoche said. "Anything can happen in baseball."
While cleanup hitter
"I think it's too early to worry about that," LaRoche said. "I think that's just more the way it's been going. It would be nice to score early, give our pitchers a little cushion."
They could find plenty of culprits.
Werth carried confidence in his swing out of
Werth narrowly missed his first hit of the season Sunday when shortstop
The offensive rut forced Zimmermann to face the same fate he did so many times last season — an outstanding start foiled by a lack of run support. The Nationals scored 3.2 runs per game when Zimmermann started last year. On Sunday, when he allowed two runs, only one earned, on six hits and no walks over seven innings, they managed only one until the ninth.
"It doesn't change my approach," Zimmermann said. "I'm just going to keep throwing strikes and try to get as many outs as possible."
When Zimmermann exited for a pinch hitter after only 80pitches, the Nationals trailed 2-1.
But the Nationals' bullpen1/3 scoreless innings the first two games, could not hold the deficit there.
On Saturday, Mattheus had thrown 10 pitches in a dominant, 1-2-3 inning. On Sunday, he walked the first hitter he faced,
The Nationals scored their lone run before LaRoche's homer thanks to another two-strike at-bat by
With one out and
Espinosa focused on a new approach with two strikes all spring. On Saturday, he fouled off four consecutive two-strike pitches before launching a crucial solo homer.
On Sunday, Espinosa dribbled away a fastball, took a ball and flicked away another of Samardzija's pitches. On the sixth pitch of the at-bat, Espinosa hooked a fly ball to right field, deep enough to score Ramos without a throw home. The Nationals had tied it at 1.
They would not muster another base runner until the ninth, until it was too late, even for them. The Nationals clubhouse fell quiet afterward, the stereos off, the television screens blank.
"It's not the TV's fault we lost," Zimmerman said, letting out a small chuckle.