Jun 29, 2013, 10:21 PM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
NEW YORK — Only 15 hours removed from what their manager called their “biggest win of the year,” the Nationals emerged from the dugout at Citi Field again, handed the ball to a promising rookie hurler for his big-league debut, prepared to take their hacks against a struggling right-hander with an inflated ERA and perhaps finally get themselves on the sustained roll that has eluded them all season.
What transpired was an all-too-familiar sight for this team. No offense, combined with bad defense and inconsistent pitching, produced another uninspiring loss, this time by a 5-1 count to the Mets that felt like so many other losses that preceded it over the last three months.
“You can’t explain it,” Davey Johnson said. “It was an uplifting game last night, and today was a downer.”
One step forward, one step backward. That about sums up 2013 so far for the Nationals, who have only one game remaining in the season’s first half and find themselves right where they’ve been nearly the entire time: Back at square one.
They’re 40-40, the 18th time this season they’ve sat at exactly the .500 mark. They haven’t ranged three games better or three games worse since May 18, a full six-week stretch now of mediocrity in its purest form.
Positive momentum? The Nationals seem to be proving there is no such thing.
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