Nobody said this would be easy

Players really do have to have a short memory in Major League Baseball.

The disappointments and failures of one day can't be allowed to carry over to the next, and what happened yesterday has nothing to do with today, or tomorrow.

But a winless start to the season is something no team wants to deal with, and it's been a tough first four games for the Nationals.

Baseball wisdom says "It all starts with pitching," and Washington has found that out this week.

Even with an improved offense, you can't win giving up 32 runs in your first four games. The Nats have scored a respectable 18, but the Friday night game here in Atlanta was the first one in which they played with a tie score in the 9th inning. Even that game was frustrating with the bases loaded for nine at-bats and one infield hit in a one-run loss.

The rain delay of 2 hours and 2 minutes meant a 1:25 a.m. finish to the game, and by the time the team bus got back to the hotel, it was 2:15.

Daniel Cabrera is the only starter who has gone past the third inning, though Shairon Martis would have on Friday night, if not for the rain delay.

The bullpen has pitched 19 innings already, and that's a pace that is cause for concern. But we all know how baseball is. A great win tonight and/or tomorrow at Turner Field can give all of us who follow the Nats a much better feeling going into the home opener against the Phillies Monday.

Don't forget to "Get Your Red On" and come early Monday; gates open at 12:30 p.m. for the 3:05 game.

Stop by the MASN set and see Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight in action for the Nats Xtra pregame show; they'll be on-site at every home game this year.

Here's to some wins and that optimism we were feeling as recently as a week ago!