Game in a nutshell: Needing to salvage a Sunday victory to avoid a sweep, the Nationals instead fell into a familiar pattern. Their lineup couldn't get anything going against right-hander Ivan Nova, who needed only 97 pitches to go 7 23 innings. Their starter (Edwin Jackson) couldn't keep New York's lineup from racking up his pitch count early. And then a tight ballgame turned in the Yankees' favor late as the Nationals' bullpen gave up a couple of tack-on runs. Thus the most-anticipated series in Nats history (drawing three straight sellouts) ended in a disappointing sweep at the hands of the Bronx Bombers. On the bright side, thanks to rough weekends by the rest of the NL East, the Nationals still hold a four-game lead in the division.
Hitting lowlight: How bad has it gotten for Ryan Zimmerman? Really bad. With an 0-for-4 showing today, the Face of the Franchise is now hitting a paltry .229 for the season. Worse, Zimmerman didn't put together one quality at-bat in this game. He saw a total of seven pitches in four at-bats and swung at five of them. The only two pitches he took were called strikes. Is Zim's shoulder still hurting him? He insists it's not, and insists the injury never affected his swing in the first place. Whatever the reason, he's become a major hole in the heart of the Nationals' lineup.
Pitching highlight: Jackson wasn't at his best today -- he was surprisingly inefficient for one of the few times he's taken the mound this year -- but he put forth a gutty effort to get through six innings and hold the Yankees to two runs. Jackson came up with big pitches when he needed to, getting eight outs with runners in scoring position without giving up a hit. It won't register as much of anything on the stats page, but Jackson did about as well as you could hope for in this game. He certainly gave the Nationals a chance to win.
Key stat: The Nationals are 0-6 against the Dodgers and Yankees this season. They're 38-19 against everyone else.
Up next: They'll have Monday off to stew over this rough weekend series, then the Nationals return Tuesday night to face another tough AL East opponent in the Rays. Chien-Ming Wang faces David Price in the opener at Nationals Park.