Aug 6, 2013, 4:36 AM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
You could point to Stephen Strasburg’s inability to hold a runner on first base, a recurring problem that led to an early run. You could point to Tyler Clippard’s rare meatball of a changeup to Justin Upton in the eighth, a waist-high pitch that landed in the bleachers. And you absolutely could point to the Nationals’ continued woes at the plate with runners in scoring position, which left the crowd of 33,002 in a state of complete exasperation Monday night.
At this point, though, it really doesn’t matter how the Nationals lose games. It only matters that they continue to lose games, digging themselves into a hole that grows with each passing day at a time when they can’t afford to fall any deeper into the abyss.
“Two months left, and we’re 13 games back,” Clippard said with a sigh.
Not to nitpick, but the deficit actually is 13 1/2 games now after Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Braves, the latest in a long line of agonizing losses suffered by the Nationals this season.
“I mean, that’s baseball,” manager Davey Johnson said. “But boy, we needed that one.”
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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