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Leftovers: Murphy carries the offense; the team takes a flyer on Latos

Revisiting the previous day's buffet to over-analyze a morsel of information, nugget from the box score, or tasty treat from the post-game quotes.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Daniel Murphy. The Nats' first-half MVP provided almost all of the offense with a pair of homers -- a solo and two-run shot. He's back up to .352/.394/.985 and his second homer of the night, which provided the needed insurance runs in the eighth inning, was his 14th, matching his career high set last year, in the Nats' 79th game. Honorable mention: Max Scherzer. He was really, really good again.

The Bad

Ryan Zimmerman. Another 0-fer, lowering his slash to .223/.282/.680. Want worse? Since returning from the birth of his child on June 7, in 18 games he's slashing .162/.213/.279, striking out 25 times in 75 plate appearances. Livan Hernandez hit .221/.231/.295 in his career.

The Ugly

Mat Latos. His tattoo sleeves aren't my thing. That said, the Nats took a very low-cost flyer by signing him to a minor league contract to provide MLB-level depth in the system. According to reports, he has several "outs" written into his deal to become a free agent again should he feel like he's back on track and would have a better opportunity elsewhere. He was not great for the White Sox in 11 starts this season (5.54 FIP, 1.459 WHIP, 4.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9) and his velocity from the 14-win years that Dusty Baker remembers fondly from their time together with the Reds at the start of this decade has diminished considerably. But if there's a mechanical reason his K numbers have dropped by three per game (not accumulation of injury) and if the Nats pitching instructors can figure out a way to get them back up to his career norm in the mid-7s per nine, then they'll have a useful starting pitcher.