Nationals end first half with victory, face tall task in second half

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But they understand, too, that in order to ensure their disappointing first half doesn’t translate into a disappointing season, they must be better.

“We got some work to do,” said right-hander Tyler Clippard, a bright spot with an All-Star-worthy 1.99 ERA out of the bullpen. “Obviously we’re not where we want to be. We’ve just been grinding. Everyday it’s been a battle.

“We obviously expected to play better than we have, but we’re still within arms’ distance of where we want to be. It’s going to be good to go home, reset the batteries for the break and come back and get the ball rolling on a positive note for the second half. We’re all very excited for this break and looking forward to the second half.”

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