Jul 31, 2013, 10:20 PM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
DETROIT — At the end of yet another lopsided loss, inside a disconsolate clubhouse full of players who slowly are coming to the realization this season is beyond repair, the youngest guy in the room stood up and offered a rare-but-impassioned plea for his teammates, coaches and manager not to give up on 2013.
“You’ve got to have heart right now,” Bryce Harper said following an 11-1 trouncing at the hands of the Tigers. “You’ve got to play as a family, and everybody’s got to want it, starting with the manager on down to everybody.”
Whether the Nationals collectively have been showing much heart or not in recent weeks is up for debate. The results on the field are not.
They’ve lost 14 of their last 20 games, a stretch that had already included scores of 8-3, 9-2 and 11-0 prior to Wednesday’s blowout. They’ve scored zero or one run in seven of those 14 losses, not to mention 30 total times in 108 games this season.
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