Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/14/14

Stephen Strasburg the number one Major League Baseball pick by the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch in his first start in the Arizona Fall League at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, AZ, October 16,2009. (UPI/Art Foxall) Photo via Newscom

Getty Images


The Washington Nationals lost their fifth game in a row last night in a 0-9 blowout to the Miami Marlins. It was an ugly game to say the least as star hurler Stephen Strasburg got tuned up on the mound and the Nats lineup looked helpless at the plate. But the disabling undertone that made matters far worse was the fact that as the Marlins lashed the ball around the park, everyone watching knew that the Nats were en route to earning their fifth loss in a row.

In previous years that number would mean very little to Nats fans, but as this team bolted its way to the top of the standings this summer, winning became very important to Washingtonians. For the longest time Nationals fans refused to let themselves believe that this team was a winner. History had told them not to. Now, in August, when playoff tickets are beginning to become available, and national news networks are ranking the team as National League favorites, fans guarded hopes that had briefly been raised are being battered by a five game losing streak which has made the 2012 Nats look like teams of previous years.

Losing streaks are bad, but they are inevitable. The law of averages dictates that the ridiculous road record the Nationals were putting up through the middle of August was unsustainable. Prior to this streak the Nats had won more games on the road than any team in baseball (including Washington) had won at home. That’s just not realistic no matter how good a team is.

The issue, however, is when losing streaks leave the field and poison the confidence of the young players in the clubhouse. It’s easy for not only fans, but players to look at this losing streak and see this amazing season slipping away game-by-game. When things go bad, players have a tendency to press the issue to make them get better quicker, but as baseball is a game of patience this can make matters even worse. As a hitter you must wait for your pitch and drive it. As a pitcher you must dance around the plate forcing batters mistakes. As a fielder you sometimes have to concede that the runner going from second to home will score and make the play to keep the batter at first.

Pressing is the absolute worst thing this team can do right now because in the grand scheme of things, a five game losing streak is really only as bad as we treat it. This marks the second five game streak this season for the team. They also had a four game streak once, and have boasted three game losing streaks five times this year. In a 162 game season, these things happen.

The best thing the Nats can do right now is enter tonight’s game with the same thought process they entered last Wednesday’s match-up with, a night when they had won 28-11 since the All-Star break. 

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Celtics looking to make LeBron's life difficult in playoff series

WATCH: Luke Rockhold chokes out Lyoto Machida

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst


Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

Report: Todd Gurley's knee checks out well in evaluation

WATCH: All 286 3-pointers Steph Curry made this season

WATCH: Devan Dubnyk makes great save while leaving net

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

MLB 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.