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Washington Nationals’ offense struggles in 5-1 loss to Colorado Rockies

“Just got to keep grinding, keep having good ABs and good things will happen,” Bryce Harper said after the Nats’ offense struggled in a 5-1 loss to the Rockies.

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MLB: Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

No one is panicking... yet. The results at the plate might not be what they want thus far this season, but after the Washington Nationals’ 5-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies in the nation’s capital last night, a loss which left the defending NL East champions 6-7 on the season, the Nats’ first-year skipper Davey Martinez and a number of players talked about continuing to grind out at bats in the hope that things eventually start to go their way.

“There are a couple guys struggling — but for the most part I’m seeing some pretty good at bats,” Martinez told reporters in Nationals Park.

“We’re taking our walks,” he said. “[Ryan Zimmerman] hit a couple balls hard again today, so you know, those things are — I always say, hitting comes and goes, it’s part of it, but we’ve got to continue to do the little things, play defense, run the bases hard, pitch.”

“Just got to keep grinding, keep having good ABs and good things will happen,” Nats’ right fielder Bryce Harper said after going 0 for 4 with three Ks.

“We just have to keep grinding, keep having good at bats,” he added, “do the things we can to go out there, and have some fun and enjoy the game and hopefully win some ballgames.”

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

“It’s still early in the season,” Howie Kendrick said after going 1 for 3 with a solo shot that accounted for the Nationals’ only run of the game, though he did also drop a two-out pop that allowed a run to score.

“I don’t think we should panic at all,” Kendrick continued. “We’ve still got a lot of games left to play, and it’s part of it. You’re going to have parts of the year where you’re not swinging the bat as well, and pitching is getting it done, or we’ll be hitting and not pitching, so we carry each other, and we’re a team in here, and I think the biggest thing is we’ve got to keep putting in the work, keep going forward and things will change.

“We’re too good of a team, and like I said, you’re going to have parts of the year where you’re going to lose ballgames, and you’d rather do that early in the year than as we progress.”

Rockies’ right-hander Chad Bettis had something to do with keeping the Nats’ offense down in the series opener, holding the Nationals to three hits and two walks in seven innings, over which he threw 94 pitches, 58 strikes.

“He mixed it up really well,” Kendrick said. “We hit some balls well, it was just right at their guys, and they had a little more offense than we did tonight, I think that’s what it comes down to, but like I said, he mixed it up, threw a good game, got double play balls when he needed it.”

“I thought he pitched well,” Harper said of Bettis. “Fastball, changeup, looked pretty good. He was mixing it up pretty well tonight, and sometimes that’s going to happen.”

“[Bettis] was pretty good, he really was,” Martinez added. “He attacked the strike zone, he kept us off balance, so tip my hat to Bettis, he pitched well.”