WASHINGTON, D.C.: Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers was the Washington Nationals’ fourth in their last five games since they clinched the NL East crown this past Sunday night.
In spite of the results over that stretch, Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker said he wasn’t overly concerned.
“I don’t like to lose ever,” Baker told reporters after the Nationals dropped their second straight to the Dodgers.
“You’re not trying to lose,” he said, “sometimes they beat you. The Braves beat us up pretty good, and [the Dodgers] beat us up pretty good here last night.
“If anybody was worried, it was the Dodgers, they lost  out of , and they’ve come back and won [four] in a row.
“And I remember San Francisco, couple years ago when they went to the championship, they had a terrible August or something and then they came back and got it together.
“So no, I’m not worried I just don’t like to lose any time, in any game, it doesn’t matter where you are in the season.”
Does the fact that the Nationals have scored just two runs in the back-to-back losses to the Dodgers concern the manager?
“Well, they lead the league in ERA, you know,” Baker said.
“They’ve got a good pitching staff, and so you know it’s usually going to be a close game. We had more energy today, we played with more life today, and I think the big crowd really helped us too, crowd was into it, even though about 30% of them were Dodgers fans. All these factors help when you’re searching for answers.”
The Dodgers’ pitching corps did go into the second game of three in D.C. leading the National League with a 3.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP (which was also the lowest in the majors), an NL-low .228 BAA, and an NL-leading 1,412 strikeouts.
Baker was also asked about the fact that the Nationals threw two starters (in Edwin Jackson and A.J. Cole) in the first two games who likely will not factor into the Nats’ postseason rotation plans.
“Well, that’s some consolation,” he said, “but still, I’m glad that we have faced probably the strong side of their bullpen, which we haven’t seen in a long time, and the fact that [Adam Lind] will probably see [Tony] Watson, so he’s seen him, and I think it’s good that we get familiar with these guys.
“They do have a kryptonite, because they’re just one or two games over .500 in their own division, so they do have some weaknesses that you hope you find and exploit.”