Jul 28, 2011, 10:34 PM EDT
US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman, who had four hits, tries to cool off on a hot afternoon.
Their starting pitcher issued four walks, three of them to begin innings. They ran themselves into a needless out on a double steal that was never called by the manager. Their newest acquisition came up to bat with the bases loaded and one out, then grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw.
By the time they had slogged their way through Thursday’s 3-hour, 38-minute ordeal, the Nationals had dropped a 5-2 decision to the Marlins, their fifth-straight loss and the latest in a growing string of uninspired performances from a ballclub that suddenly appears headed in the wrong direction.
“I’d say up until this point we’ve been doing the little things to help us win games, help us stay in games,” said right fielder Jayson Werth, who drove in both runs. “I’d say the last few nights, for sure, seems like fundamentally we haven’t been that sound.”
That’s an understatement. The Nationals had already looked a bit sluggish in the field and on the bases at various points since the All-Star break. On Thursday, though, they appeared to sleepwalk their way through this matinee on a scorching afternoon in the District.
It certainly didn’t help that starter John Lannan was uncharacteristically out of sync, issuing four walks, plunking Marlins slugger Mike Stanton in the head and needing a whopping 115 pitches
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