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Those hits never came, as the Nationals were 0 for 5 with men in

scoring position.

And Zimmerman is far from alone in his struggles. There Michael Morse, who is 0 for 8 since he returned from the disabled list. After grounding out to short in each of his four at-bats Saturday, Morse struck out three times and hit a sharp grounder to short Sunday.

Morse’s timing at the plate doesn’t appear to be there in his return to the big leagues after a brief minor league rehabilitation assignment. And, of course, lineup stalwarts Jayson Werth (wrist) and Wilson Ramos (knee) are sidelined for extended periods while second baseman Danny Espinosa hasn’t rediscovered the stroke that delivered 21 home runs last season.

The anemic offense made overcoming a rare off-kilter outing from left-hander Gio Gonzalez difficult, at best. Gonzalez allowed 10 base runners and threw two wild pitches before Johnson yanked him with two outs in the fifth.

“He had no command,” Johnson said.

Gonzalez didn’t want to call his outing bad and preferred to dig through the base runners for positives. That was true for the rest of the clubhouse, too.

“There’s a long ways to go in the season,” Zimmerman said.

But his voice stayed quiet.