Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/20/14

The Washington Nationals entered Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles looking to go 4-0 in rubber games this season. All the way into the eighth inning, the Nats looked to have it in the bag when a rare bullpen foul up cost the Nats the game. I’m not blaming this one on them, though.

Ross Detwiler did what he needed to in his first outing since returning to the starting rotation from the bullpen. He made it through five strong innings. Though he got into a jam in the last few innings of his outing, he didn’t give up a run on four hits. He brought his ERA down to 3.09, the highest of all current starters. The only thing to gather from that information is this starting rotation is outstanding.

Ultimately, Sean Burnett gave up the game-winning home run to Matt Weiters after walking Adam Jones to lead off the eighth inning. Burnett entered the game with a 1.07 ERA, and at some point, he had to give up another run. He had been historically good, and I have a lot of trouble placing any blame on him for this loss.

The Nats’ offense doesn’t get the same kind of pass, though. Against Jake Arrieta, who had a 5.83 ERA entering today’s action, the Nationals bats scored just one run on five hits, and the Nats got just one hit in the final three innings after his departure. Those are atrocious numbers from a team that still leads the NL East.

The 2-1 late-innings loss to the Orioles is among the most painful for the Nats this season. Most importantly, it further outlines the number one issue they face in order to keep winning: offensive production.

Some thoughts:

- The Nats offense has become a complete joke. In the last eight games, the Nats have scored more than four runs just once. Sure, they lit up the Blue Jays and Red Sox pitching staffs, but those staffs were in the bottom half of the AL when the Nats faced them. It’s a problem that needs to be fixed for the Nats to continue contending.

- Interleague play is mercifully over, but the Nats still finished with a 10-8 record because of their sweeps of the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Despite some frustrating losses in over the last nine games, the Nats did exactly what they were supposed to during this stretch. They finished above .500. 

- In seven of the next 13 games, the Nats will face a really bad Colorado Rockies team. Four of those seven games will be in hitter-friendly Coors Field. The Rockies are 16 games under .500 entering action today, and they have an NL-worst 5.34 team ERA. It will be up to the Nats offense to capitalize on the opportunity that will dictate their June success.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended by Dallas PD

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA rookies who disappointed in 2014-15 season

Report: Urban Meyer reassured Belichick about Hernandez

Cuban: Harden is MVP, Rockets are not very good

J.R. Smith: 'I don’t think anyone can beat us'

SCOTUS asked to overturn baseball's antitrust exemption

Is Chip Kelly expecting too much from Josh Huff?

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

There are only two contenders ... in the West?

Woman stripped of marathon win, didn't actually run in race

Matt Barnes' son betrays him for Steph Curry

WATCH: Padres fan saved from falling by alert cameraman

Kemp hosts Seattle party over OKC missing playoffs

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

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

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Kris Bryant and floor versus ceiling

Top 10 storylines of the NBA Playoffs

A-Rod being taken to court over unpaid legal fees

Could Wilson really be a two-sport star?

Five players who must step up in the NBA playoffs

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.