ST LOUIS – The Nationals’ recent surge has been keyed in many ways by young (or, at least, inexperienced) players making a case to be part of the organization’s long-term plan.
The roster isn’t deep enough just yet, though, to be filled entirely with building blocks. There are still more than a few veterans in prominent roles as the season winds down, some of them rising to the occasion to help make this surge possible, others still searching for lost production.
So tonight’s 4-1 loss to the Cardinals, snapping a three-game losing streak, saw 35-year-old Paolo Espino allow three runs over five innings, 36-year-old Steve Cishek give up a seventh-inning homer to Nolan Gorman and 42-year-old Nelson Cruz go hitless out of the cleanup spot.
Such is life for a rebuilding club that hasn’t completely rebuilt the roster with up-and-comers just yet.
The Nationals were seeking their first four-game winning streak of the season, not to mention seven wins in nine games for the first time in 2022. They didn’t get there, falling to 48-88 overall and losing some of the uplifting vibes they had created in recent days with a fairly uneventful performance against the National League Central-leading Cardinals.