As Cristian Guzman's average and on-base percentage have continued to fall -- they were at .184 and .223, respectively, after last night's 5-4 loss to Atlanta -- Nationals fans at RFK Stadium have begun to voice their displeasure. Guzman was booed heavily during an 0-for-4 performance Monday night in which he grounded into two double plays and popped up a bunt.

"He's doing a good job for us defensively," Manager Frank Robinson said. "He's not doing the job offensively, and no one feels worse than he does. I certainly don't feel he deserves to be booed."

Guzman delivered a bloop RBI single in going 1 for 4 last night, and is now 7 for 70 since May 8.

Best Pitch

Left-hander C.J. Nitkowski, signed last week to get left-handed hitters out, finally did it last night. After allowing two hits and a walk to the first three lefties faced, he got Chipper Jones to ground out and struck out Adam LaRoche. "I was relying too much on my fastball," Nitkowski said. "Tonight, I got three outs on three off-speed pitches." . . . The Nationals are keeping an eye on infielder D'Angelo Jimenez, designated for assignment by Cincinnati two weeks ago and playing for Class AAA Chattanooga, as a possible fill-in infielder until Jose Vidro returns, a club source said.