Rockies Vs. Nationals: Nationals Game Ends In A Double Play And Chorus Of Boos In 2-1 Loss

For the second consecutive game the Washington Nationals are defeated by the Colorado Rockies by one run. Where once the Nationals were winning one run games they are now dropping them and their chances at being .500 at the All-Star Break.

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Rockies Vs. Nationals Final: Nationals Can't Chip Away At Rockies Lead, Lose 2-1

Washington Nationals starter Jason Marquis did his job on Saturday night. Pinch hitter Rick Ankiel came to play as did shortstop Ian Desmond and Michael Morse, but it seemed the rest of the Nationals were ready for the All-Star Break and hitting the links. Washington dropped its second game in a row to the Colorado Rockies by one run by the score of 2-1.

Marquis was not overly sharp, but his performance warrants some positive reviews considering his last start he barely went one inning giving up six earned runs. On Saturday night he showed improvement giving up only two runs on five hits in six-innings of work. He walked four batters and struck out win. Again, not a shiny outing, but one that the Nationals could have more than worked with. The Rockies Todd Helton took Marquis yard in the fourth-inning for the 10th home run of his season while Mark Ellis scored on a Helton ground out in the fifth, but that was all the Rockies could do against the Nationals intense right hander.

However-- the Nationals offense. Problems continue to plague the Nationals offense and show its inconsistency. Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez took a no-hitter into the fifth before Morse made contact and recorded the Nationals first hit of the game. The only score of the game came when Ankiel pinch hit for the pitcher and grounded out scoring Desmond. Desmond had a good game going 2-for-3 while Morse went 2-for-4. Outfielder Laynce Nix also enjoyed a great defensive night in the field making a brilliant catch and making a double play.

A dark cloud is hanging over right fielder Jayson Werth. The fates always seem to put him in position to break out of his slump if he could get a big hit, but it never seems to come. Saturday was no different as the tying run was on third in the bottom of the ninth-inning with one out and he hit into a double play to end the game. Boos and chants of "Jayson Werthless" filled Nationals Park and drowned out some post-game interviews.

The Nationals are now 45-46 and look to, at best, finish the first half of the season at .500 if they can win on Sunday.

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Rockies Vs. Nationals: Jason Marquis And Nationals Look For Redemption Against Rockies

Early Saturday afternoon Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa went on Twitter just before leaving for Nationals Park and wrote:

@DannyEspinosa18: On the way to the field. Gotta make the series even today

No truer words have been said. The Nationals will be looking to rebound after losing Friday night to the Colorado Rockies by one run and witnessing a frightful event where starter John Lannan was hit in the face by a line drive from Ty Wigginton. Lannan was okay, but no doubt his teammate's thoughts were on their wounded friend and peer as is probably the sting of blowing the biggest lead in franchise history on Thursday night to the Chicago Cubs and having dropped their last two games. The Nationals would like to end the first half of the season on a high note and maintain a .500 record or better going into the All-Star Break next week.

A lot will be riding on their starting pitcher Jason Marquis (7-3, 4.11 ERA). Marquis is looking for a bit of redemption himself for a miserable last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates where he went 1 1/3 innings allowing seven runs, six earned, on eight hits. Marquis is a lot better than that so the Nationals are hoping his last start was just "one of those games" all pitchers tend to have occasionally-- as long as it stays occasionally. The veteran right hander will be squaring off his former team and pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.39 ERA).

Catcher Jesus Flores returns to the Nationals Saturday night. He was recently called up from Triple-A Syracuse to back-up Wilson Ramos after veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez was placed on the 15-Day DL due to back soreness.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 P.M.

Nationals Line-Up

Roger Bernadina - CF

Danny Espinosa - 2B

Ryan Zimmerman - 3B

Laynce Nix- LF

Michael Morse - 1B

Jayson Werth - RF

Jesus Flores - C

Ian Desmond - SS

Jason Marquis - SP

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