The Washington Post

The Nats' Days of Doom

Stephen Strasburg has a 5-9 record and 3.04 ERA this season.

Last December, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the slogan for the 2013 season would be “World Series or bust.” His take on Wednesday? “It looks more like bust.” The Nationals are 52-56 and were 11 games out of first in the NL East before Atlanta’s game Thursday night. Here are three low points that have helped define the season.

An Error and Strasburg’s Collapse (May 11 vs. Cubs)

Even when he’s pitched well, Stephen Strasburg has had a season to forget. A May 11 start against the Cubs was the epitome of Strasburg’s season. After the Nationals were able to retire 13 of Chicago’s first 14 batters, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman committed a throwing error that otherwise would have ended the top of the fifth inning. From there, Strasburg fell apart, giving up a walk, a double, another walk and two consecutive singles. Strasburg didn’t return for the sixth inning and the Nationals went on to lose 8-2.

Losing the Beltway Series (May 27-30 vs. Orioles)

The Orioles have been competitive all season in arguably baseball’s toughest division, with a record of 59-49 before Thursday night’s game against Houston. When Baltimore faced Washington in a four-game series in late May, the Orioles took three out of four games and scored a total of 20 runs. After taking the second game 9-3, the Nationals dropped the next two 9-6 and 2-0. Like the Nationals, the Orioles are going for a second straight playoff berth, but it looks like only one of them has a shot at the postseason this year.

Doomsday in Detroit (Tuesday and Wednesday vs. Tigers)

The Nationals, riding a three-game winning streak, had a chance to build upon some success with a two-game series in Detroit this week. With the back end of the rotation getting the job done in three wins against the Mets, there was some optimism with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez starting against the Tigers. That optimism waned quickly. Strasburg struggled in a 5-1 loss and Gonzalez surrendered 10 earned runs in Wednesday’s 11-1 drubbing.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Border collies: A 'mouse trap' for geese on the National Mall
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
What you need to know about Planned Parenthood
Play Videos
How to save and spend money at college
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Kristen Page-Kirby · August 1, 2013