Looking back at last night

It's kind of hard to believe, given his impressive 3.17 ERA and six quality starts in 10 outings, but Edwin Jackson still has just one win on the season.

Over his last five starts, Jackson has allowed just 10 earned runs in 33 2/3 innings (a 2.67 ERA) with a .212 batting average against, a 0.96 WHIP and a 24/7 strikeout to walk ratio.

He's 0-2 in that five-game span.

The poor guy can't buy a victory. Jackson had another shot at one last night, leading 1-0 in the sixth inning, but allowed a two-out double to Giancarlo Stanton that scored Omar Infante with the tying run.

I don't necessarily have a problem with Jackson going after Stanton instead of walking the Marlins' scorching-hot right fielder, but if I'm calling the shots in that situation, I put up four fingers and take my chances with Logan Morrison.

Desmond Reyes Wide.jpgStanton is just swinging the bat too well right now. Yes, walking him puts the go-ahead run on base, but it also gets Stanton out of the batter's box, which is the last place I want to see him right now.

Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman might catch a little heat for failing to come through last night with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and the Nationals trailing by a run, but I'm inclined to take it easy on the Nats' two- and three-hole hitters.

Harper now has a nine-game hitting streak and is batting .400 with three triples in that span. Zimmerman's bat has slowly started to come around over the last week and a half, as he's put up a hit in eight on his last 10 games, with seven RBIs.

They didn't get the job done in a key spot - and Harper's three-pitch strikeout sure didn't look all that pretty - but I'm not concerned about either guy right now.

Unlike the two guys hitting directly in front of him, Adam LaRoche can't buy a base-knock lately. The first baseman, who carried the Nationals' offense through the first six weeks of the season, has finally hit a cold spell, batting .119 (5-for-42) with a .531 OPS over his last 12 games.

LaRoche is still tied for the team lead in home runs and has far and away the most RBIs on the Nats roster, but his average has dropped 57 points since a May 16 contest against the Pirates.

Last night, the veteran left-handed hitter went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, marking his first three-strikeout game since all the way back on April 10.

LaRoche might get some more help in the middle of the order soon, as Michael Morse made his first rehab appearance for Single-A Potomac in a rain-shortened game last night. As reported by my MASNsports.com colleague Byron Kerr, Morse went 0-for-1 with a walk in two plate appearances, and said afterwards that he "felt great".

Davey Johnson has to be counting down the days until he has his power-hitting left fielder back in the lineup, especially coming off a game where his guys managed just one run and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

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