The Nationals have made one error this month. They've scored 24 runs in their last four games. They've got a closer who hasn't given up a run in 20 innings. And they're 6-6 in May.
Tonight's 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Marlins was only the latest gut-wrenching example of what happens when a team doesn't do quite enough to separate itself. The Nationals have lost back-to-back games in extra innings, and in both cases, it felt like they should have won. They blew a lead last night against the Braves, and after rallying to tie the Marlins tonight, they left the bases loaded in the ninth and lost in 11 innings after Omar Infante made a fantastic slide to get around - or over - Wilson Ramos' tag at the plate.
That play, where Infante slipped his hand over Ramos' glove in the kind of arm-over move you'd see from a defensive end, was only one of several little moments the Nationals lost.
Ian Desmond robbed Roger Bernadina of a steal when he swung at the first pitch he saw from Burke Badenhop in the ninth. Bernadina was only on first, not second, when Desmond singled later in his at-bat. Michael Morse's double in the 10th inning missed being a homer by a couple feet. And Ramos swiped his glove at Infante, leaving the plate open when the infielder would have to come back to tag it.
There was, and has been, plenty to like about the way the Nationals are playing. But for all that, they're still coming a few plays short of being able to string together a bunch of wins.