By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Forty-four games into the 2013 campaign, the Nationals have never overcome more than a two-run deficit. As the Padres' assault continued to mount on Sunday, the Nationals needed plenty more than two.
The Nationals' victory over the Tigers on Thursday was their sixth in the past seven games as they improved to 19-15.
The Nationals' slow offensive start has been concerning to some, worrisome to others and downright nerve-fraying to certain factions of the fanbase. For plenty, it's been maddening to watch them strike out, swinging or looking, so often. To see them come up small in large situations. To hit the ball on the screws, and right at a waiting fielder.
Tyler Moore hit a three-run homer and Danny Espinosa homered and drove in three runs, leading the Washington Nationals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Sunday.
Stephen Strasburg struck out eight in seven innings and the Washington Nationals won a game he started for the first time since Opening Day by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 Saturday.
Adam LaRoche enters the Nationals' opener of a four-game series with the Braves on Monday mired in the longest hitless streak of his career. A drought that has spanned 26 consecutive at-bats and seven entire games has left him frustrated and searching for an answer.
In a 5-2 loss, the Nationals' bid for a sweep of another National League contender fell victim to singles, some just out of reach, and a hard-throwing rookie left-hander.
In 205 days, three of the area's four teams in the major professional sports leagues won division titles. It's a start. Let's be clear on something, though: It is hardly a finish.
The lineup changes Johnson made weren't drastic. They simply placed Steve Lombardozzi, one of the Nationals' highest on-base percentage players near the top spot in the order, and added Jayson Werth, another right-handed bat to the middle of an order that has been missing Ryan Zimmerman since last week.
Tuesday's loss was Washington's fifth straight at home and the team that started the season 7-2 is now 10-10. Yes, indeed, it remains very early in the season. But early is about half done and the Nats are in a funk.
"I met a guy today who had been through 49 surgeries," said Chad Tracy. "I've been through four of five myself, just to imagine a guy going through almost 50 surgeries, to see he was still a driven, confident, leader of a man really touched me."
Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa has a very vivid memory from his major-league debut. It was Sept. 1, 2010 and the Nats were playing in Florida against the Marlins. Espinosa drove in a run with a double. That isn't the memory.
In the slog that is a 162-game baseball season, the importance of the way a team starts the season often teeters on a high wire. Currently walking that thin line are the Washington Nationals, who lost 2-0 to the New York Mets on Sunday to finish a 3-3 road trip through what is expected to be the two basement teams in their division.
Late Tuesday night, Zimmerman said that he was frustrated with the fact that he'd made four throwing errors in the Nationals' previous five games. His surgically repaired shoulder felt great, he said, and he could not pinpoint the reason why some of his throws were not precisely hitting the target Adam LaRoche was giving him at first base.
Harper homered in his first two at-bats to account for the only scoring and Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings as the defending NL East champs opened their 2013 campaign.
"That first month, we were all just kind of up in the air about what's going on," LaRoche said.
After the Nationals' lost to the Reds on Sunday afternoon, though, as LaRoche digested his latest 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, he acknowledged he feels about as good as it looks right now.