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Washington Nationals shut out for third time in 98 games, third time in last twelve; Zach Davies dominates...

The Washington Nationals have been shut out three times in 98 games in 2017, and those three have come in last 12 games.

Milwaukee Brewers v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Milwaukee Brewers’ starter Zach Davies held the Washington Nationals scoreless over 7 23 innings on Tuesday night, giving up three hits and three walks in what ended up an 8-0 win. It was Davies’ longest start of the season, and just the third time in 98 games that the NL East-leading Nats have been shut out in 2017. So what was working for the 24-year-old right-hander, who came into the outing with a 4.76 ERA?

“Everything was working,” Davies said, after the second straight outing in which he avoided allowing an earned run to score.

“Everything was in the zone, and being able to expand on pitches and get ahead of guys, so I think from that point, from seeing the way ball was moving, and the way I controlled it was probably my best game of the year so far.”

“Davies was good,” Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker said when asked if the Nationals’ long road trip and injury-impacted roster played a role in the loss.

“I mean, I can’t believe his ERA is what is, because every time I’ve seen him he’s been good,” Baker added, “and he threw first pitch breaking balls, you know, had that working tonight, and his sinker and his changeup working. He had everything working tonight, so we didn’t pose much offense tonight, only had a couple runners get to second or third. He threw a very good game against us.”

“He’s always been good, ever since we were younger,” Bryce Harper said, after going 1 for 4 on the night, noting that he’d known and played with Davies since they were 10 or 11 years old.

“I grew up playing with him, so he’s always been tough, throwing that sinker, throwing that changeup, mixing in good counts. Sometimes you just go out there and try to get to him, and sometimes you’ve got to tip your cap. He did his job tonight.”

“He reminds me of [Kyle] Hendricks from the Cubs,” Harper continued.

“Does his job, goes out there and gets ground balls, never panics, does things out there that work to his advantage and he did that tonight.”

“Mix and match, and didn’t really make too many mistakes,” Ryan Zimmerman said when asked about Davies.

“And he’s one of those guys where he kind of throws to both sides of the plate, has the sinker, cutter, curve, change. There’s not many of those guys anymore, but he pitched well, and the couple times we’ve faced him I feel like he’s been tough on us, but got to give him a little bit of credit too.”

Zimmerman was asked if he thought things would have been different if Trea Turner, Jayson Werth, and some of the other injured Nationals were in the lineup.

“We still could have got shut out with those guys tonight,” Zimmerman said.

“You never know. [Brian Goodwin] has been swinging the bat great, but do you want all of your guys healthy, I think of course, and you look at the teams at the end of the year that make it to the playoffs, are in contention for the playoffs, they don’t miss a lot of time with their regulars, and if they do they have guys who can kind of replace them and you don’t lose that much, and I think the depth of our team is one of our keys, but yeah, everyone would love to have their guys in there every game.”

“When we get back Trea it’s going to be good for us,” Harper said, “when we get back J-Dub, of course that will be huge for us as well, but I think as a team right now, I think we’re swinging the bat really well. Some days you just don’t win, it’s part of the game, so you try to go out there and do the best you can and get some runs up there on the board, and had a great road trip and came home today and got beat.”