Posted April 22, 2013 on AP on Fox
While the Washington Nationals are coming off a disappointing loss, their frustrations surely pale in comparison to what they went through in October. In a rematch of their 2012 NL division series, Washington tries to get some revenge against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game set Monday night. The Nationals (10-8) led 6-0 after three innings and found themselves one strike away from the NL championship series. Drew Storen then gave up a tie-breaking two-run single to Pete Kozma, whose late-game heroics helped St. Louis (10-8) storm back from two down in the ninth to win 9-7 in a deciding Game 5. That loss didn't appear to have any lasting effect on Washington, which jumped out to a fast start by winning seven of its first nine. The Nationals, though, have since dropped six of nine, including two of three at the New York Mets this weekend. They were limited to four singles in Sunday's 2-0 loss. Leadoff hitter Denard Span is batting .174 (4 for 23) in his last six games while No. 2 hitter Jayson Werth is 2 for 14 in the last four. "We're OK. It's early. We are a good ball club. We're going home. We'll bounce back. But we definitely let this one get away from us," Werth said. "I couldn't tell you what our record is. Things could be a lot worse. We're all right. We are a good team. We'll get it together. We have too much talent. We'll be all right." The Nationals could have a hard time bouncing back against highly touted Cardinals starter Shelby Miller (2-1, 1.96 ERA), who's struck out 18 over his first three starts spanning 18 1-3 innings. The 22-year-old right-hander gave up two runs over six frames Wednesday in a 5-0 loss at Pittsburgh. "You've got to tip your hat to Miller," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told MLB's official website. "You saw why the numbers are what they are. We thought we had him in a place where we might be able to make him move, and he collected himself." The Nationals counter with Dan Haren (1-2, 8.10 ERA), who can't seem to get on track. The former three-time All-Star was tagged for seven runs - three earned - and seven hits over 4 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 8-2 loss at Miami. "I feel good, so it's just a matter of translating good numbers out there," said Haren, against whom opponents are batting .388. "Baseball is a crazy game. As bad as it is going now, it can change in an instant. I just have to remain positive." Haren, who began his career in St. Louis, is 4-0 with a 3.65 ERA over five career starts against the Cardinals. He hasn't faced them since 2010, though. St. Louis just dropped two of three at Philadelphia this weekend, including a 7-3 loss in Sunday's series finale. Jake Westbrook threw six-plus strong innings before Mitchell Boggs gave up four runs in the eighth. ''He's a big part of our club. He'll get over it," said manager Mike Matheny, whose bullpen has compiled a major league-worst 5.69 ERA. ''I don't see it as mechanical so much as it is about confidence." Carlos Beltran stayed hot with two hits Sunday but saw his three-game home run streak come to an end. He's batting .438 over the last four games. Matt Holliday figures to be back in the lineup after getting the night off Sunday. The slugging left fielder is a career .328 hitter versus Washington in the regular season. The Cardinals have been outscored 74-31 in dropping eight of nine regular-season matchups in the nation's capital.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

How Bryce Harper gets his hair to do that...

So Bryce Harper's hair continues to be a "thing" this season. And now we have a better idea how Harp gets his hair to do that rockabilly pompadour thing as seen in the screencap above from a recent postgame interview on MASN, thanks to this Tweet from Harper on Sunday night: Best product around! @suavecitopomade #boom — Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) April 22...

Jayson Werth: "That’s probably one of the dumber things I’ve done on the field in a while."

"I don't know, you live and learn but, with Harp up behind me in a two run game, I was being aggressive, I was convicted. I felt like I could make a difference right there and...I got caught up in it, that's for sure. ... I feel like it was my fault. Tough loss." (Jayson Werth, via MASNSports.com, 4/21/2013) "Looking back, I was trying to do too much. I was...

Nationals putting 3B Zimmerman on 15-day DL

The Washington Nationals are putting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list because a strained left hamstring and promoting prize prospect Anthony Rendon from Double-A for his big league debut. Zimmerman did not play Friday or Saturday at New York against the Mets. He had an MRI on Saturday and manager Davey Johnson made the announcement after a 7-6 win. The 28...

Harper Mashes, Stammen Impresses, Gio Melts Down, Nats Win 10th Game

Ryan Zimmerman was a scratch for the second consecutive game today, and he's getting an MRI on his hamstring. Never a good sign for the Nats franchise third baseman. The game itself was a roller coaster ride of a game throughout on the way to a Nats 7-6 victory. The Nats offense was able to get off to a quick start. Ian Desmond hit his third homer of the year on a first pitch...

Washington Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon called up

Turns out being lousy for several years in a row gets you some good prospects (the Houston Astros can take umbrage).  The Washington Nationals are calling up yet another one of their elite prospects, Anthony Rendon, to replace Ryan Zimmerman, who is going to the DL with an ailing left hamstring.  According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Rendon will step into the every...

Time To Put April In Perspective

I've seen lots of reaction from people about the Nationals disappointing start this April. With all of the expectations surrounding the Nats entering the 2013 season, people have taken to extreme levels of concern over this season's struggles relative to the feeling of last season's success. The Nationals, as far as record, got off to an extremely hot start in 2012. They...

Denard Span tries to vault Allen Craig

Either Denard Span is trying to vault off Allen Craig here like he’s a pommel horse, or this is some kind of deliberate attack using a yet unknown martial art.

It’s becoming aparent that Bryce Harper will be a Mets Killer

Bryce Harper launched home runs number 6 and 7 on Saturday afternoon. On Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, the Nationals needed a little something extra to slip by the Mets. Gio Gonzalez imploded, Ryan Zimmerman headed to the disabled list, and Bryce Harper hit two home runs, the second being a mammoth shot that won the game for the Nationals 7-6 (and won us yet another parlay bet...

3 Up & 3 Down: Knocking Off The Nationals Edition

Baseball is such a great sport. There is something for everyone, offense, defense, strategy, statistics, history and pitching. I’ll take a well pitched game over a slugfest any day. When you look at the Washington Nationals starting rotation, you just got to love what you see: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez (one of my favorites), Jordan Zimmermann, and Dan Haren. This is a team...

Nationals Report Card: April 15-21

After getting swept by the Braves at home, the Nationals went on a six-game road trip against the Miami Marlins and New York Mets, two teams that most of the NL East hopes to beat up on throughout the course of the season. What the Nats did over the last week wouldn't be considered beating up on anyone, unfortunately. They split the roadtrip 3-3 and lost the weekend series to...

Go Green with Teddy!

The Nationals (and Teddy Roosevelt) have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to talk about activities that are healthy for you and the planet. The newly released video features HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Teddy with some green living tips for you this Earth Day.  Learn more http://www.hhs.gov/about/sustainability/.The post Go Green with...

DMV: Early Season Gut Check For Nats

Nats lose 2 of 3 to Mets, and people are starting to ask questions. [Bog] Jayson Werth swings on 3-0: ‘one of the dumber things I’ve done’ [For The Win, new site from Jamie and USAToday.
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.