Jun 10, 2011, 2:19 PM EDT
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Struggling left-hander Sean Burnett's ERA is up to 5.96.
The Nationals' formula for success this season has been simple: 1) Get good pitching. 2) Play good defense. 3) Get a couple of timely hits.
Impressively, they've managed to accomplish Parts 1 and 2 with a level of consistency few could have predicted entering the season. Part 3? Well, we've dissected the Nats' offensive woes ad nauseum. Nothing really new to say there. This lineup is what it is. Besides, as long as they continue to take care of Parts 1 and 2, they'll stay competitive and win their share of games.
Except Part 1 doesn't appear to be a certainty anymore, especially when it comes to a Nationals' bullpen that has hit a bit of a rough patch in the last two weeks.
Mind you, the Nationals have more significant woes than their bullpen. Their biggest problem is and will continue to be their lack of offense. But in order to win games with the formula they've created for themselves, they can't afford any prolonged slip-ups in any other departments. And right now, the bullpen is slipping up.
When Livan Hernandez departed last night's game in San Diego with two on and one out in the sixth, the Nats trailed 4-2. Livo was by no means in top form, but the game was still within reach for his team. Sean Burnett and Cole Kimball, though, proceeded to issue back-to-back walks (Kimball's with the bases loaded) and then aRead more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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