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Nationals 5, Rockies 1: Beltway blues banish bats

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Hello .500 my old friend

USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies east coast road trip continues to frustrate the team and its fans as they fell to their fourth straight loss Thursday night against the Nationals. Roy Oswalt's Rockies debut was a mixed bag, the offense continued to flounder, and some more shoddy defense all contributed to another frustrating day at the ball park. The Rockies have sunk to .500 for the first time since the second day of the season.

Oswalt somehow demonstrated both strikeout stuff and extreme hittability. He allowed four runs in five innings of work while surrendering nine hits; however, he struck out 11 and walked none. The fastball showed good life, often touching 94 miles per hour and generating several swings and misses.

The Rockies didn't commit any errors, but poor defense and poor luck still hurt the team. A Kurt Suzuki 12-hopper managed to get by both Nolan Arenado and Jonathan Herrera, allowing Adam LaRoche to score from second on a ball that shouldn't have left the infield. Later, Tyler Colvin misplayed a LaRoche fly ball to right center; what should have been an out turned into a two run triple. The Rockies are really missing the defensive contributions of Troy Tulowitizki and Dexter Fowler.

The other big story of the night was the continuing complete lack of offense. The Rockies compiled only six hits, none for extra bases. Jordan Zimmermann pitched like someone had rubbed poison ivy in his jockey shorts; he poured fastball after fastball down the middle of the plate, daring the Rockies to hit it and they were largely unable to do so. Their lone run came in the 8th inning, and they needed an Anthony Rendon error to accomplish it.

One can't help but wonder if the Rockies are dangling on a precipice. They are still very much in sight of the division lead, but the replacements to their banged-up regulars simply aren't getting the job done. If the Rockies can't hold their own while Tulowitzki and Fowler are on the shelf, they're going to dig too large a hole to escape.

Games back: 3.0

Record: 37-37

WPA Graph:

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2013-06-20&team=Nationals&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2013-06-20&team=Nationals&dh=0&season=2013">FanGraphs</a></span>

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