The Washington Times - September 29, 2009, 08:15PM

As much as poor pitching and defense has defined this season for the Nationals, let’s not give the offense a free pass. Especially over the last month, the lineup has been punchless. How many times recently have these guys been no-hit through three or more innings? Feels like it’s been at least five times in the last three weeks.

It almost happened again tonight, with only J.D. Martin’s two-out single in the third preventing Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey from a perfect 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 start. Plain and simple, the Nats just aren’t hitting with any consistency these days. Worse, they barely make the opposing pitcher break a sweat. Through four innings, Pelfrey has thrown a grand total of 47 pitches, 31 strikes. At this rate, he could go 10 innings if needed.


Of course, extra innings don’t look likely at this point, not with the Mets jumping on Martin for three early runs. Martin got off to a horrible start, allowing the first four batters he faced to reach base (the last two on walks, one of them with the bases loaded). He was roughed up for two more runs in the second and was THISCLOSE to getting yanked. But he’s managed to settle down since then and has kept the Mets from scoring again.

Still, it’s 3-0 New York halfway through this one. And it’s hard to see Washington’s lineup suddenly springing to life and making this game interesting before it’s over.