Postgame analysis of the Nats' 5-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.
How it happened: Manager Dusty Baker didn't admit it at the time, but one day after the Fourth of July, on Tuesday afternoon, he wondered if his team was dragging in their 1-0 series-opening loss to the Brewers, a game in which they managed just two hits total. He knew he was feeling the 11 a.m. start, whether his players were or not.
One day later, the Nats remained sluggish against a lowly Brewers team that now has a chance to sweep them. The result of this one was a 5-2 loss on Tuesday night, as the Nats wasted numerous opportunities on offense. Washington had 12 hits, but only two runs to show for it. They left eight runners on base and went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Daniel Murphy flew out to end the third inning with two runners in scoring position. Bryce Harper struck out looking with the bases loaded to the end the seventh inning. And Murphy then got thrown out at third on a would-be leadoff triple to begin the bottom of the eighth. The Nats got two baserunners on with no outs in the bottom of the ninth before Clint Robinson grounded into a double play and Ben Revere grounded out to first to end it.
The Brewers, meanwhile, got things done against both starter Gio Gonzalez and against the bullpen behind him. They scored three off Gonzalez, including a two-run homer by Hernan Perez. Aaron Hill then launched another tw-run shot off reliever Blake Treinen. Hill also smacked an RBI single against Gonalez.
It was just one of those nights for the Nationals, who have only scored two runs in their last two games after exploding for 12 in Sunday's win alone. They have lost four of five games against the Brewers this season.
What it means: The Nationals lost their second straight game and have now dropped three of their last four overall. If they lose on Wednesday, they will be swept for the first time since June 20-22 and for just the third time this season. The Nats now stand 50-35 overall on the year.
Gio shows progress: Much like his last outing, Gonzalez was good for most of his start on Tuesday night, long enough that positives can potentially be drawn from his performance. But once again he couldn't close the deal on what was nearly a very good night for the lefty.
Now, to be fair, Gonzalez did turn in a quality start of six innings and three runs. But he was again one inning away from tossing one of his best games in a while. Gio ended up with three earned runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts on 102 pitches. It was the first time he's held a team to three runs since June 14. He hasn't held an opponent to less than three since May 18. Gonzalez left the mound with a 4.79 ERA through 17 starts this season.
Revere gets two hits: There weren't many highlights for the Nationals on offense, but Ben Revere had a solid game. He landed two base hits and drove in the Nats' second run on an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. The two hits followed an 0-for-4 outing for Revere on Monday. He now has 15 multi-hit games in 49 total outings this season.
Up next: The Nats and Brewers close out there series with a 4:05 p.m. start on Wednesday evening. Tanner Roark (7-5, 2.93) will get the start opposite Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza (1-1, 3.74).