US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond is thrown out trying to steal second base in the third inning.
Which means they've got to take advantage of what few opportunities they get. Not squander them the way they did during Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Padres, the latest maddening display of offensive futility from this squad.
Aside from Laynce Nix's solo homer in the seventh, the Nationals had only two realistic scoring opportunities all afternoon. They loaded the bases in the first against starter Tim Stauffer, only to watch as Michael Morse (the club's hottest hitter over the last week) ground into an inning-ending double play.
Perhaps more frustrating was the wasted opportunity in the eighth after Jerry Hairston led off with a double. Needing one run to tie, the Nationals instead watched as Hairston never advanced past second base. Matt Stairs flied out to shallow center field on an 0-2 pitch from reliever Mike Adams. Rick Ankiel struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch. And Ian Desmond struck out looking at three consecutive pitches,