WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15: Livan Hernandez #61 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after pitching a complete game 10-0 shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on June 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Marlins Vs. Nationals: Nationals Find No Answers Against Marlins, Lose 7-5

The Nationals drop their second game in as many nights to the division rival Florida Marlins. Poor pitching, poor hitting and a poor bullpen has many wondering what is going on in Natstown.

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Marlins Vs. Nationals Final: Nationals Can't Pick Up Slack In 7-5 Loss To Marlins

Times have been tough on the Washington Nationals recently. Since the All-Star Break the Nationals have dropped four straight series. On Wednesday night the Florida Marlins took no pity on them and savagely beat them 7-5 in front of a home crowd at Nationals Park that probably is feeling the excitement of the 2011 baseball season quickly draining away. It is the fifth series Washington has dropped and it is the fourth game in a row the Nats have lost.

The major breakdown continues to be the offense who surprisingly got hits off Florida's Javier Vazquez and the Marlins pitching staff, but could do anything but drive in runs. The Nationals left a total of 18 men on base. The only Nationals player to touch home plate before the ninth inning Wednesday night was outfielder Laynce Nix who drilled a solo homerun in the fourth inning. After that the usual offensive problems began to plague Washington and the line-up and scoreboard went cold until the ninth where the Nats staged a four run rally thanks to a single from Jerry Hairston Jr., a ground-rule double from Ryan Zimmerman and a two RBI single from Michael Morse. Unfortunately the rally fell just short.

Before the fans' eyes the Nationals pitching corps is withering. Starting pitching and bullpen had not been the same since a little before the midseason break and their problems continued on Wednesday night. Starter Livan Hernandez was tagged for the loss after a four inning four runs on five hit performance. Hernandez's ERA continues to rise as it jumped from a 4.04 to a 4.19. Relievers Todd Coffey and Drew Storen both gave up homeruns to Mike Cameron who had two on the night and finished with three RBIs.

The Nationals fall to 49-54.


Marlins Vs. Nationals Score: Nationals Struggles Against Marlins Continue In 4-1 Game

The Washington Nationals are down 4-1 to the Florida Marlins going into the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday's night game between the two division rivals. The Nationals are getting some hits, but not ones that put the runs over the plate.

The Nats have collected five hits against Florida's Javier Vazquez but have left 10 men stranded on base. Outfielder Laynce Nix finally punctured through with a solo shot in the fourth inning. It is Nix's second homer in as many nights. Not much else has been used to back up starting pitcher Livan Hernandez who had another bad night. He pitched only four innings giving up four runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Ross Detwiler came in to relieve him.

It seems like the same old story for the Nats. They continue to get inconsistent hitting and poorer and poorer performances from their starters. The thrill of the hunt, that red aggression and the sheer euphoric feeling of having fun playing the game seems to have either wore off or burned the team out.


Marlins Vs. Nationals: Nationals Hope To Hold A Fish Fry At Nationals Park Against Marlins

It is a drastic time for the Washington Nationals and drastic times call for drastic measures as the Nats square off against the Florida Marlins Wednesday night in game two of a three game series at Nationals Park. The Marlins absolutely decimated the Nats on Tuesday night 11-2 and plunked them down into the NL East cellar.

In an effort to get something, anything going manager Davey Johnson held his first closed door team meeting Wednesday afternoon and put out a new line-up that is lacking several starters. Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Wilson Ramos and Roger Bernadina all have been given the night off. Johnson is putting the ball into the glove of Livan Hernandez (5-9, 4.04 ERA) to hopefully get Washington back on track as a loss tonight would put a serious damper on the Nationals trying to rise in the NL East standings and team morale. Hernandez has not been highly effective in his past few starts, letting the opposing team score early and putting the Nats in a whole at the start of the game the struggling offense has to dig out of. Opposing the Cuban workhorse on the mound will be Florida's Javier Vazquez (6-9, 5.35 ERA).

Newly acquired outfielder Jonny Gomes will be in Nationals uniform on Wednesday night and will be available off the bench.

First pitch is 7:05 P.M.


Marlins Line-Up

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 3B

2. Omar Infante, 2B

3. greg Dobbs, 1B

4. Hanley Ramirez, SS

5. Logan Morrison, LF

6. Mike Stanton, RF

7. Mike Cameron, CF

8. John Buck, C

9. Javier Vazquez, P


Nationals Line-Up

1. Jerry Hairston, LF

2. Alex Cora, SS

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Michael Morse, 1B

5. Laynce Nix, RF

6. Danny Espinosa, 2B

7. Rick Ankiel, CF

8. Jesus Flores, C

9. Livan Hernandez, S

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