Another "L" in the books

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I’m running out of ways to write this, but suffice it to say, the Nationals are not a very good baseball team. They’re losing pretty much on a nightly basis, and they’re losing in every manner possible.

The pitching staff gives up too many big hits. The offense doesn’t quite produce enough clutch hits. The defense botches routine plays at the most inopportune moments.

In other words, this is a bad team. After tonight’s 9-6 loss to the Phillies, the Nationals are the proud owners of a 13-35 record. Some other dubious numbers:

— They’ve lost 17 of their last 20 games, a streak that coincides with Jesus Flores sustaining his shoulder injury.

— They’ve lost six straight to the Phillies.

— They’ve committed 48 errors, far and away the most in the majors. Adam Dunn leads the club with seven errors. And he’s an outfielder.

— Even if they play .500 ball the rest of the way, they’d still finish 70-92. In order to avoid 100 losses, they have to go 50-64. I think most fans would kill for that record at this point.

The mood in the clubhouse remains down, though everyone insists they’re not giving up on themselves, on each other or on the season.

“We know we’re losing a lot,” Manny Acta said. “It’s tough. It’s not easy on any of us. But what are we gonna do? There’s no options. We’re not going to quit. We’ve got to keep our head up and we’ve got to go out there and play hard tomorrow and snap out of it.”

“No. This is our job. This is what we do,” Dunn said. “Just because things are going bad, I’m not going to sit here and throw the towel in. I know that’s what a lot of people expect, but it’s not going to happen.”

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Mark Zuckerman

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