Rockies at Nationals: Sunday, August 17 at 7:10 ET
Tomorrow, the Nationals finally rest. If there was ever team that needed a day off...
The Nationals haven't had a scheduled day off since July 28, a stretch that took them through three cities in three time zones, including mile-high Denver. They've gone 6-13 in that stretch. Going back to July 22, they are 6-19. They've played almost this entire stretch short-handed. The last time the Nationals had 25 men available was July 25 in Houston, a stretch of 22 consecutive games. All told, they have now played 74 games short-handed this season against just 50 at full strength.
Last night, it appears that even John "Brass Balls" Lannan, the man with the focus of a Jedi knight, lost focus. He said so in the oh-so-brief WaPo gamer, but it was clear from his four walks that he didn't have it. More damning were the four stolen bases he allowed. Lefties should never get run on like that, and Lannan's only allowed as many as 2 stolen bases in a game twice in his career. One must imagine that the Crow debacle affected the clubhouse as Lannan was just one of many sleepwalking through a 13-6 blowout that featured 3 errors.
Here's my look at the merciful series finale.
Aaron Cook: Cook made his first all-star game this year, but he isn't that good. Since then, he's shown it. He's allowed 11 runs in 11 1/3 innings in August--against the Nationals and the Padres, two of the league's weakest offenses. That game against the Nationals was one of only ten times all year the Nationals have scored nine or more in a game.
His last start, scheduled for last Thursday, was pushed back because of a sore back.
He's a pure sinkerballer who can be hit hard when he leaves the ball up in the zone.
(Season record: 14-11)
The Nationals limp to the end of the series with a 5-1 defeat.