The Good with the Bad: CIN Series Takeaways

The Good With the Bad is a segment in which Alyssa Wolice and Citizens of Natstown contributor Luigi (Ouij) de Guzman (@ouij) break down the negatives and positives for each series, respectively. You, the reader, can then decide to see the glass half empty - or full - with each series wrap.

The Nationals dropped two games to the Cincinnati Reds and presumably celebrated Wednesday night's rain-out. Washington holds a 46-38 record and remains three games above the second-place New York Mets in the NL East.

THE BAD:

The injury bug is highly contagious. Natstown’s own David Huzzard admits it—so many swore that the 2015 Nationals could not—would not—be less healthy than the 2014 team. Now, Washington will be without Denard Span at least until the All-Star Break, for reasons that remain fuzzy. The center fielder is suffering from another bout of back spasms, after the trouble first showed face in June. Washington will refrain from placing Span on the disabled list, at least for now. One would suspect that Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Craig Stammen, Stephen Strasburg, et al. won’t miss the added company. In addition to Span, Yunel Escobar left Monday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring, and is considered day-to-day. While his may be a less ominous injury report thus far, the Nats could hardly handle another blow to their offense.

Baseball fans were deprived of the should've-been dream pitcher's duel. Johnny Cueto versus Max Scherzer could have been the match-up of match-ups this season. Unfortunately for Nats fans, Scherzer merely took the mound while Cueto arrived ready to deal. Cueto went the full nine innings, holding the Nats to just two hits and one walk, while striking out 11. Scherzer’s performance was a rare one, Nats fans should remember that, but Tuesday’s contest was very one-sided, nonetheless.

THE GOOD:

Nationals can appreciate any time off. No baseball fan enjoys a rain-out, however, if there were ever a team that could use any and all rest days—even with the All-Star Break fast-approaching—the Washington Nationals make up that team. Never mind the fact that the Nats skirted a potential three-game sweep by the Reds with Wednesday’s heavy rains. With Denard Span, and perhaps Yunel Escobar, added back onto the list of players grappling with injuries, time off seems about the only way Washington can avoid injury, as of late.

Scherzer was able to sneak in his rough outing before the break. It had to happen, right? No matter how dominant Max Scherzer has been as of late, there had to be a moment of coming back to Earth in which Scherzer was lit up. That moment came Tuesday, when the ace allowed seven hits and five runs over just 4 2/3 innings. While no fan should celebrate the loss, there were no indicators the Nats’ offense would have batted in a win, anyway. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Scherzer allowed five earned runs only one other time this season—against Miami on May 6.

Fister gave the Nats a chance. While Washington came away with a loss Monday night, Doug Fister did as much as he could to position the team for a win. Over six innings pitched, he allowed just one earned run, despite giving up eight hits. Both Blake Treinen and Felipe Rivero held their own as well, combining for one hit and one walk allowed over two total innings. In his inning pitched, Treinen struck out Brandon Phillips, Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd, pitching around and out of a jam in which Joey Votto singled and Jay Bruce drew an intentional walk.

Danny Espinosa sent a gift to fans in right-center. Still basking in the glory of being an everyday starter, Danny Espinosa helped keep the Nats in Tuesday’s game with a sixth-inning shot into the right-center-field seats. The homer marked his ninth of the season.


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