May 31, 2010, 1:27 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ryan Zimmerman's two solo homers accounted for the Nats' entire offensive output.
SAN DIEGO — We can analyze the Nationals' 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Padres today til the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. We can lament this team's lack of offensive depth. We can harp on Adam Kennedy's throwing error. We can question umpire Bob Davidson's vision on Matt Capps' 1-2 outside fastball to Nick Hundley, a pitch that could not have been placed any better by Capps yet was called a ball and set the stage for Hundley's game-winning single on the next pitch.
But sometimes we tend to overanalyze these things. The Nationals had an opportunity — make that plenty of opportunities — to win today's series finale at Petco Park. They came up short. Just as they've done a number of times this season.
Every game this team plays comes down to the wire. Of the Nats' 51 games played so far this season, 30 have been decided by two runs or fewer. The trend has only picked up over the last month. Twenty of their last 25 games have been decided by two runs or fewer. (They're 9-11 in those games.)
Maybe it's just time to come to the following conclusion: This is who the Nationals are.
They're a decent team — not a great one, not a horrible one — that plays tough almost every single night and almost always gives itself a chance to win. Sometimes it wins. Sometimes it loses.
Clubhouse members will point out they've faced a difficult schedule in the season's first two months, and emerged with a respectable 25-26 record.
"Any time you play teams that were in the playoffs last year or are going to be close to the playoffs this year, there's not going to be many blowouts," Ryan Zimmerman said. "I think when good teams play good teams, it's close. One run, two runs, three runs. If you get aRead more »
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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