Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 8/9/13

The defending NL East champions are in a bad place right now. Since the All-Star Break, the Washington Nationals are 2-7, with both of their wins coming on walkoff homers. Furthermore, all nine of those games have come in the friendly confines of Nationals Park, *really* not a good look for a team trying desperately to get back in the playoff race. The Nats are now 50-54, and 8.5 games behind the first place Braves in the NL East.  After Friday's doubleheader with the Mets, which the two teams split, the team optioned reliever Drew Storen to AAA. On the surface, this doesn't seem like a huge deal. After all, Storen has a 5.95 ERA in 42 1/3 innings this season. But Storen is striking out a career high 9.14 batters per nine innings, and he really hasn't been as bad as his ERA indicates.  But there's a little more to it than that. Before the Nationals got pounded 11-0 by the Mets in game one of the doubleheader, Washington manager Davey Johnson said that Storen had the flu and wouldn't be available. That didn't stop Johnson from inserting Storen into the ninth inning of game one, with the Nats already trailing 6-0. Storen then proceeded to give up three runs on three hits in 2/3 of an inning, along with allowing both of the runners he inherited to score. He didn't throw one four seamer, and got pounded by New York's offense.  After the doubleheader concluded, Washington reliever Tyler Clippard unloaded in the clubhouse while speaking with reporters, focusing on the team's offseason signing of closer Rafael Soriano. Clippard on Storen: "You send a guy a message this offseason, for one bad game, that he isn't the guy for the job. ..." — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 27, 2013 More Clippard on Storen: "I think this had been handled very poorly by the organization." — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 27, 2013 This is really not good. As Nationals beat writer Adam Kilgore later pointed out, it's not a good sign for an organization that prides itself on player development to have both Storen and Danny Espinosa hanging out in AAA.  Tom Schad of MLB.com had some more quotes from Clippard. I can understand, you know, after the devastation that happened last year, maybe trying to make a change and say, hey, we’re going to bring in somebody that we think can get it done in that big situation. It’s just the wrong message to send, I think. This is a franchise in disarray after just a year ago, it looked like they'd be contending year in and year out. And now, heading into the trade deadline after just the second playoff appearance in Expos/Nationals history, they're firmly out of the playoff picture and sniping at management in the media. This won't end well for anyone involved...except maybe the Braves, who are cruising to their first division title since 2005. [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

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

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker