Aug 21, 2010, 3:51 AM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ian Desmond reached second base three times … but never scored.
PHILADELPHIA — You can blame the Nationals' excruciatingly frustrating 1-0 loss to the Phillies tonight on Adam Dunn not being able to field a sharp grounder to his left. That produced the evening's lone run.
You can blame it on Ian Desmond attempting to steal third with one out in the seventh and getting doubled off second base as a result. That killed one of the best rally opportunities of the evening.
Or you can blame it on the lineup as a whole for continually failing to come through in key situations. It's hard to win when you go 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Really, though, you can't blame this loss on any one of those factors more than the others. If anything, the reason the Nationals lost tonight — and have now lost a staggering 15 consecutive 1-run games on the road — is that they consistently come up short in all of those areas we like to call "the little things."
The Nats did plenty of things well tonight. They got a competent start out of Jason Marquis for the first time all season. They got three more perfect innings from their bullpen. They put 14 men on base (at least one in every inning) against Roy Halladay, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. Their rookie shortstop had three hits. Their big slugger reached base three times. Their leadoff man opened the game with a double and then distracted Halladay into committing a balk.
Jim Riggleman emphasized the positives when he made some brief remarks to his players after this one.
"You just faced two Cy Young candidates in [Tim] Hudson and Halladay, and you had them both on the ropes," the manager said. "Be proud of that. We're going to get over the hump. I'd rather have themRead more »
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