Nationals left scratching their heads after latest loss to Phillies

For Jackson, it was the location of three pitches that cost him. Two to Rollins, one to Nate Schierholtz — all three essentially over the middle of the plate. The contact they made off him was so solid the right-hander wondered if he was tipping his pitches, an issue he’d had before he joined the Nationals this past offseason. Upon replay, though, that theory was shot down.

“I thought it was a possibility,” Jackson said. “But going back and looking at it, I mean … I just got hurt on balls up in the zone.”

The only solace in a quiet clubhouse was that the Atlanta Braves, hot on the Nationals’ tail in the National League East, also lost to keep Washington’s 2 ½ game lead intact. 

“I don’t see anybody deflated in here,” LaRoche said. “I look up and we’re still in first place. I think guys realize that. So we keep playing. These little skids happen where things don’t go our way. For the most part this year, we’ve had some pretty good luck and we’ve come up big. It’s a long season. Keep grinding it out.

“And when we get on a roll, like we were last week [six wins in a row], you just try to keep it going as long as you can.”

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