Nats Keep Losing Streak Alive, Braves Drop to the Mets

For the Washington Nationals (48-52), Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates (59-39), was business as usual as they have now lost five straight games. It was also another game that wasted a good pitching effort.

Taylor Jordan

Taylor Jordan

In his fifth start, Nats rookie righty Taylor Jordan (0-3), gave up five runs (four earned) with two of the earned runs coming over seven hits; all of them were singles. He lasted on the mound for 7 2/3 innings with his 99 pitches for 14 groundouts and four strikeouts.

The Nats, under their new hitting coach Rick Schu who replaced Rick Eckstein, had cold bats as they only had two hits and one run. The one bright spot came on a home run by Wilson Ramos (No. 5 for the season) in the third inning.

Jayson Werth said of the team’s recent woes, via MLB.com, “We’ve been pretty unlucky. You talk about timely hitting, lately it’s been untimely hitting. Instead of getting the big hit, we hit the ball that ends the rally.”

Also contributing to the team’s poor play as noted by Nationals manager Davey Johnson, was the team’s recent problems with mental mistakes or the “little things” such as dropped tags, mistakes from baserunning and crazy throws. This was again evident in Tuesday’s game but not helping matters was the outing by the Pirates rookie pitcher, righty Gerrit Cole (5-3).

He gave up one run from two hits through seven innings. After the home run in the third inning, Cole then retired 15 of the National’s 16 hitters.

While the Pirates sit 1.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals (60-37) in the NL Central race, the Nationals have now lost their last 10 of 12 games. They sit four games under .500–a first since Sept. 23, 2011–and eight games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves (56-44).

The Nationals are hoping righty Stephen Strasburg (5-7) can give them a boost on Wednesday night when he takes the mound for Game 3 of this four-game series. He’ll go up against Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano (9-4).

In his last outing on Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers (52-47), Strasburg allowed two runs over seven innings but in the team’s 3-2 loss, he didn’t receive a decision.

For Wednesday’s game, the Nats could snap their losing streak with a much-needed win (-138, 7 o/u).

Braves Lose to the Mets, 4-1

In another NL East loss on Tuesday, the Braves lost to the New York Mets (44-52), 4-1.

Kris Medlin

Kris Medlin

This came in part as the team continues battling with a depleted starting pitching rotation. It reached out to the bullpen and tapped righty Kris Medlen (6-10) to take the mound.

This turned out to be not such a great idea.

The pitcher, who started out strongly by only giving up three hits and one run to the Mets in the game’s first five innings, came unraveled in the sixth inning.

He gave up hits to four of five batters; the Mets’ had a three-run inning. Tuesday’s outing represented Medlen’s third consecutive loss.

Neither team scored for the remainder of the game after this point.

Medlen said of the outing, as he’s now likely to go back to the bullpen,via MLB.com, “I know it’s been brought up. I said I don’t want to go to the ‘pen, but I didn’t say I wouldn’t go to the ‘pen. I think there’s a difference. If they think that is where I’ll be most effective to help the team win, then obviously I’m going to do that.”

For the Mets, righty Carlos Torres was also pinch hitting as a starter but he had the better game between the two. He pitched for six innings and gave up seven hits; this included a home run by Andrelton Simmons on the game’s second pitch but improved from there.

He gained his second win.

The Braves, who sit at 4 to 1 to win this year’s NL pennant, will get the win on Wednesday in this third game of the four-game series (-129, 7.5 o/u).

 

 

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