When one thinks about the 2011 Washington Nationals it is best to think of them still a work in progress, that at very best they are just a .500 team. They claim to desire more than just an even record, but they certainly didn't play like it on Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park where they lost to the team with the worst record in the Majors, the Houston Astros, 3-2 in extra innings.
In the 11th inning Jason Michaels hit a RBI single off reliever Todd Coffey to give Houston the game and the series. It was the first series victory for the Astros since June 17th-19th. The game did not end in Washington's favor nor did it start out that way either. The Astros were quick to get on the board in the first and second inning by scoring a run off Nationals starter Livan Hernandez. In traditional, but irritating Hernandez fashion he gave up his runs early in the game putting his team in a hole to climb out of, but settled down to finally pitch six innings of seven hit, two run ball while walking one and striking out three.
The Nationals offense could do little against Brett Myers and the Houston bullpen, but the one player that did show up to play to the surprise of everyone was right fielder Jayson Werth. Mired in a slump, the struggling $126 million dollar man might have finally broken out of it going 3-for-5 with two doubles and a two-run homerun. It was a shame to see Washington make up for Hernandez's early mistakes and waste Werth's most impressive offensive performance in over a month's time.
The Nationals fall to 48-50 with the loss.