GB&U--GAME 6: Nats Start with a Six-Pack of Losses

Posted by Dave Nichols | Sunday, April 12, 2009 | , , , , , | 0 comments »

THE RESULT: The Washington Nationals lost their sixth straight game to start the 2009 season, falling to the Atlanta Braves 8-5. Nats starter Scott Olsen started strong, but gave up five earned runs in the fourth and fifth innings on six hits and three walks, striking out three.

The Nats did pound out ten hits, with Cristian Guzman and Elijah Dukes both having a two-hit game. Dukes had a double and three RBIs.

Atlanta took advantage of a rough day by catcher Josh Bard. Bard had two passed balls allowing runners to advance and dropped a throw to home from left fielder Josh Willingham letting another run score.

THE TAKEAWAY: Manager Manny Acta wishes that tomorrow's home opener was the real opening day and that the past week never happened. Losers of six in a row to start the season, the Nats biggest weaknesses (pitching and defense) have been evident and exploited.

It's evident that the silly road trip at the end of spring training and starting the season with a six-game road trip has taken its toll on the team.

THE GOOD: Elijah Dukes. He went two-for-five with three RBIs.

THE BAD: Steven Shell. 1.1 IP, 2 hits, 2 earned runs. If the starters are only going five, you can't have the next guy in give up two more.

THE UGLY: Josh Bard. He had a real bad day. Passed balls. The opposing catcher steals a base. Dropped a good throw to home. Went one-for-four with a strikeout.

NEXT GAME: The Home Opener!!! Daniel Cabrera (0-1, 7.50) hosts the Philadelphia Phillies ageless Jamie Moyer (0-1, 7.20) at 3:05 from Nationals Park