The Washington Nationals began the Battle of the Beltway 2011 with lots of promise and offense. They finished with neither. The Nationals dropped the final game of a three-game series between the two teams by the score of 2-1 in what had to have been a heartbreaking finish for Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann.
Zimmermann went six-innings giving up two runs on four hits and striking out five. It was more than a serviceable performance and yet another positive outing for the young right hander. His only mistake was giving up a seventh-inning home run to Vladmir Guerrero. It shouldn't have been a mistake that caused so much problems it couldn't be overcome, but unfortunately Zimmermann had the Nationals offense trying to back him up: the one that doesn't seem able to score runs.
The only run of the game for the Nationals came off a fourth-inning RBI single by Alex Cora. After that, the Nationals could not get runs across the plate. The final two outs of the game came on Roger Bernadina striking out and Brian Bixler then caught trying to steal second. It was a miserable way to end an aggravating series that was more than potentially winnable by the Nationals.
Manager Jim Riggleman getting thrown out on the first at-bat of the game for disputing an out call on Roger Bernadina obviously did not have desirable effects.
The Nationals fall to 21-25 and are making themsleves a nice little nook in the cellar of the NL East. The Nationals are now four games under .500, a hole no Nationals team has been ever to climb out of to get to .500 again.