The Nationals were 14-4 entering their home series against the Phillies that started on Tuesday. They scored twice in the fifth inning to tie the game at 3-3, but eventually went on to lose 4-3. The Nationals lost 3-0 on Wednesday and were shut out 3-0 again on Thursday, running their consecutive scoreless innings streak to 22.
Jeremy Hellickson tossed seven shutout innings on Wednesday. Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez combined to handle the final two innings. Aaron Nola matched Hellickson with seven shutout frames of his own on Thursday. Dalier Hinojosa, Elvis Araujo, and Gomez combined to handle the final two innings.
Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper was a non-factor at the plate during the series. He singled once with two walks on Tuesday, went 0-for-2 with two walks on Wednesday, and went 1-for-4 on Thursday. He had a tough time handling a bullet hit by Cameron Rupp in the top of the ninth inning on Thursday, which perturbed closer Jonathan Papelbon. There was no choking, at least not that we were able to see.
The Nationals are now 14-7, which is still good. But they’ve played the Marlins, Braves, and Phillies six times each and the Twins three times. Their schedule has not exactly been tough. Now they hit the road for 10 days to play the Cardinals, Royals, and Cubs.