Nationals offense struggling again early against Brewers

Yovani Gallardo, come on down.

The Brewers starter is the latest front-line pitcher to shut the Nationals’ offense down, at least early in the first end of today’s doubleheader. He’s one-hitting the Nationals through three innings, and has struck out five batters already.

I’ve mentioned it a couple times here, and I talked about this on Nats Xtra today - the Nationals really need the top of their lineup (either Ian Desmond or Danny Espinosa) and Michael Morse to get going for their offense to work in its current configuration. We essentially know what veterans like Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche are going to do. But if the Nationals are going to take a step forward, they need younger players like Desmond, Espinosa and Morse to develop. Otherwise, their lineup is just too short - and with Werth in a funk right now, it’s not producing at all.

Jason Marquis struck out four in the first three innings - another uncharacteristically high number for him after he struck out nine in his last start. But he’s starting to give up some hits here. The Brewers have eight against him in the first four innings, and four of the first five batters singled in the fourth. They’re up 2-0 through four innings, though Marquis stranded three runners in the fourth.

Milwaukee’s got a chance to break this one open here in the fourth, especially with the Nationals’ offense continuing to do little at the plate.

A quick programming note: Both ends of today’s doubleheader are live on MASN HD. The second game will begin about 30 minutes after this one ends.