Despite a big night from Michael Morse, the Nationals didn’t have enough offense to out-slug the Astros. Morse finished the night 3-for-3 with a home run, two doubles, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. At the end of the night, the Nationals left 9 men on base and were 2-of-10 with runners in scoring position. Obviously, a rough start from Jordan Zimmermann didn’t help the Nationals cause.
Zimmermann gave up 6 runs tonight, which are now his most on the season. Zimmermann started strong striking out two Astros in the first inning and retiring five of his first six batters on the evening. The wheels came off a little and he gave up the home run to Clint Barmes. The fourth inning is when the real damage was done as the Astros took the lead for good with a four-run fourth.
The Nats had an opportunity to turn in a big first inning, but came away with nothing after J.A. Happ got Wilson Ramos to fly out with the bases loaded. Ramos did get the Nats a run in the top of the 7th, but he ground in to a double play to wipe out the runner at 2nd. Ramos continued his bad luck at the plate as he had a chance to put the Nats in the lead in the top of the 9th with two on, but struck out to end the game.
The Astros got a huge boost from lead-off man Michael Bourn. Bourn went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI’s and two doubles. Bourn is a possible trade target for the Nationals – who are in search of a Centerfielder/lead-off man.
The loss puts the Nationals one game under-.500 again. The Nationals are stuck in this hovering around .500 phase. It seems like they can’t get a streak going in either direction. Tomorrow the Nationals send Livan Hernandez (5-9, 4.09 ERA) against Brett Myers (3-10, 4.86 ERA). I’d expect another high scoring affair tomorrow afternoon. Follow along on @1067thefandc for updates for the game.
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