Different year, a little roster turnover, same result. It's getting old for the Washington faithful.
If anything, these first two games of the season have shown Nationals fans, at least at the very early stage, they simply are not on the level of the defending world champs, at least in terms of pitching. Just like the season opener, almost scripted the same, but with less runs scored, the Nationals could a poor starting effort and gave up tons of walks, as the Nats fell tot he Phillies again, 8-4.
P Jason Marquis (0-1), making his Nationals debut, got pounded for 8 hits, 6 runs, and walked 3 batter in just 4 innings of work to take the loss for the Nats. It was the Nationals second straight poor starting effort. Combined int heir first two games, John Lannan and Marquis have provided 7.2 innings of starting pitching, allowing 11 runs, 15 hits, and 6 walks. Folks, that simply does not and will not translate to wins, period. And, the worst part, these are the top two starter on the roster. Encouraging eh?
On to the bullpen. In two games, the bullpen has allowed a whopping 11 walks. That is ELEVEN. In total, the Nationals pitching staff has allowed 17 free passes in just two games. That is horrifically horrific.
On to the offense. Ian Desmond went 23-5 last night and hit his first homer, as he continues to gives the Nats reason to believe the decision to keep him up on the major league roster was the right one. Josh Willingham went 3 for 4 and scored a run. He is now 4-7 in the first two games.
Tyler Walked pitched effectively out of the Nats bullpen last night, tossing 2 scoreless innings and whiffing 3. Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps pitched a combined 2.2 shutout innings, but each walked two batters.
The Nationals start out 0-2 and the concern is the same it has been the past two years, effective pitching. They simply aren't getting any yet. They are giving out way too many free passes on the bases as well, way too many.
Nats face the Phillies in the last of the first three game series tonight at Nationals Park. Craig Stammen takes the mound for the Nats and he will face Kyle Kendrick.