Short of Ryan Zimmerman hitting a homer and adding a pair of hits to his impressive start to August, there wasn’t a whole lot for the Nationals to like on Tuesday night in a 6-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Scott Olsen gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings, a two-out walk in the fifth innings priming the charge for Arizona’s explosion. Collin Balester drilled another batter in the head. And the Nationals managed just five hits off Joe Saunders in nine innings.
It was, after a five-wins-in-seven-games stretch, the worst game the Nationals have played since their last road trip ended with a sweep in Milwaukee. They grounded into three double plays, went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and Olsen gave up a key homer to Mark Reynolds after the fifth-inning walk.
The only bright spots for the Nationals were Zimmerman, who blasted a homer to center field in the first inning that put the team ahead, and Josh Willingham, who had two hits and threw out Adam LaRoche at home plate. Other than that, the Nationals were soundly beaten. They’ve had more than a few games like that on the road this season, where they’re now 18-37.
Chalk this one up to a sharp pitcher, a bad sequence in the fifth inning and an offense that didn’t have many answers.