Jun 24, 2010, 5:13 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ian Desmond has cooled off dramatically at the plate in the last month.
The Nationals' 1-0 loss to the Royals — an excruciating affair played under sweltering conditions — seemed to leave everyone in a sour mood. The crowd of 31,913, which included more than a few booing fans as the final out of the game was recorded. Stephen Strasburg, who shot down repetitive questions from national media members about the hype that surrounds his every move. And several players inside the clubhouse, who did little to hide their frustration in the wake of another narrow loss.
All of the ire, of course, was directed toward a Nationals lineup that is producing at minuscule levels these days.
Lest anyone need to be reminded, the Nats have now scored a whopping total of 20 runs over their last nine games. They haven't surpassed the four-run mark in any of those instances. During this just-completed, six-game homestand, they managed to twice lose 1-0 and a third time by a 2-1 count.
Pointed questions were asked after this latest loss, and the answers suggested a ballclub trying to convince itself everything is still OK.
"I hate to, and I won't, make excuses for anybody," Jim Riggleman said. "But sometimes you've got to tip your hat to the opposition. I'm not trying to rationalize too much, but we've run into a lot of well-pitched ballgames against us. I know that gets old saying that. I want to score runs more than anybody. But they just held us down."
Among the opposing pitchers who have dominated the Nats over the last week: Gavin Floyd, Freddy Garcia, Bruce Chen and Brian Bannister. We're not talking about Roy Halladay, Ubaldo Jimenez andRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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