The Nationals have played 42 games this season, and they've now been shut out in one-seventh of those games. Extrapolate that over a full season, and they're on pace to get blanked roughly 23 times.
The seventh shutout of the season came on a rainy Wednesday night at Citi Field against the New York Mets, who beat the Nationals 3-0. This wasn't one of the ones where their offense went limp; they got eight hits and put 10 men on base against the Mets, getting runners to third base in the second and third innings and loading the bases in the seventh.
Instead, the Nationals' situational hitting failed them tonight; they were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and that one hit was an infield single by Brian Bixler to load the bases. For the season, they're hitting .230 with runners in scoring position. And it cost them on a night where they weren't facing an exceptional pitcher (the Mets' Jonathon Niese, who threw seven shutout innings).
It's the big reason why the Nationals haven't been able to put together a winning streak longer than four games, or get back above .500 since April 21. Even when they hit well, their bats don't stay hot long enough to sustain a run. Until (or unless) that changes, they're probably going to be slipping in the mud while they're climbing uphill.