After opening their homestand by going 6-1, I guess you could say a game like last night's was inevitable.
"Can't win every game," Ryan Zimmerman said.
On top of that, you can't get seven or eight shutout innings from your starters every single night out. It just won't happen.
We've been spoiled by some stellar starting pitching through the first two weeks of the season, but it would be illogical to expect that kind of consistency to continue.
Edwin Jackson tossed a complete-game two-hitter two starts ago, but he got lit up in the first inning last night. Baseball fans in Tampa Bay, Detroit, Arizona, Chicago and St. Louis (among other cities in which Jackson's pitched in his career) can tell you that's what you'll get from the hard-throwing right-hander; he'll spin a gem one outing and then look like a different guy the next time he takes the ball.
"Your starters aren't going to have a one-something (ERA) all year," Zimmerman said. "They're still very good, and can't wait for Edwin to pitch 30 more times. It happens. Guys aren't going to go seven, eight innings every time."
The same could be said for the bullpen, which had been fantastic this season but fell flat in the sixth inning last night.
"This is baseball. It always happens," said reliever Tom Gorzelanny, who allowed six runs in two innings in the series finale against Houston. "Stuff like this happens. You've got to be able to bounce back from it and get over it quickly."
Expected to be far and away one of the worst teams in the league this season, the Astros put up a good fight in this four-game series. I actually was impressed with the way manager Brad Mills' group battled, and as pointed out by one Houston writer, the Astros actually outscored the Nats for the series, 16-14.
Regardless, the Nats picked up their fourth straight series win, and now welcome the new Miami Marlins into town tonight. They'll kick off the series by sending Ross Detwiler to the mound to oppose veteran right-hander Carlos Zambrano.
Don't be surprised to see Xavier Nady get a start tonight; he's hitting .320 with five doubles in 25 career at-bats against Zambrano.
Adam LaRoche also has fared well against the Z-man, going 9-for-30 (.300) with three doubles off Zambrano.