With no reliable table-setters and no secondary scoring (as they say in hockey), the Washington Nationals and starter Gio Gonzalez suffered an indignant and ignominious 3-0 loss to the fierce rival Philadelphia Phillies, the Nats first shutout and back-to-back losses of the season.
The good news: Ben Revere was sent out for a rehab stint to Syracuse to test that injured oblique and round back into playing shape. The bad news? It can't happen soon enough, though it'll take a good 30-40 plate appearances for Revere to regain his timing. How much of that happens in the minors is up to the rest of the Nats though.
The Nats (14-6) had trouble getting anything going against one-time rookie of the year turned journeyman Jeremy Hellickson (W, 2-1, 3.81), scratching out Daniel Murphy's opposite field bloop double and Danny Espinosa's bunt single. That's it. The extent of the "offense" against a guy they pounded last week in Philly.
Ryan Zimmerman struck out three times, Jayson Werth did it twice. Michael Taylor's mini-hot streak (four hits in his past two games) came to a crushing halt with an 0 for 4. Anthony Rendon still remains MIA as well. Nothing but doom and gloom up and down the lineup right now.
As for Gonzalez, the flaky lefty appeared to let things get to him a little bit more in this one and he got several visits from "Gio Whisperer" Mike Maddux, but he was still able to limit the Phillies collection of cast-offs and semi-prospects to five hits and two walks over 6 1/3. Unfortunately, two runs allowed was going to be enough to accumulate a loss in this one.
Here we are talking aboot it:
The Nats have a day game on Thursday, a 4:05 p.m. start with 14-K man Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.63) hosting Aaron Nola (1-2, 5.50) in the finale before heading across the heartland in what should be a testing 10-game roadie.