Bryce Harper rests to finish the first half

Bryce Harper sat out for the second consecutive game this afternoon as Class A Hagerstown finished the first half of its season, but not for any problematic cause, Nationals director of player development Doug Harris said.

Hagerstown has been mathematically eliminated from winning the South Atlantic League first-half championship for several days, and the Nationals wanted to let Harper rest because he will not get a break while playing in the SAL All-Star Game.

So, Harper finishes the first half with a .330/.429/.586 slash line, 14 homers, 45 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 227 at-bats. The question now is, what next for the second half of the season? The Nationals aren’t sharing their plan for Harper.

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The Shark swinging hot bat

The Shark swinging hot bat
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LaRoche returns to Nationals Park

LaRoche returns to Nationals Park
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Fans show up at Nationals Park

Fans show up at Nationals Park
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A sloppy end to a sparkling streak

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Nats make three errors in streak-ending loss

The Nationals had strong pitching long before they began an eight-game winning streak. They had solid defense, too. But Sunday against Baltimore, Washington had neither, and its winning streak ended with a 7-4 loss to the Orioles at Nationals Park.
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Game 72: Wake up the Nats!

Today's game story: Nats lose to Os to end win streak at 8.

Monday update: correct graph/numbers inserted.



  • Maya-esque: Tom Gorzelanny (-33.9%) is the victim of some defensive miscues, but gives up plenty of hard hits on the way to 5 R (4 ER) in 4.2 IP, with no Ks and 1 BB.
  • Attempted heroism: Danny Espinosa (+12.2%) is 2-4 with a junk-time dinger and an RBI double (+12.2%) that got the Nats within one at the time.
  • CHOMP! Roger Bernadina (+13.9%) leads the team in WPA, going 3-4 with a two-out solo shot to get the Nats within one (+8.6%)
  • Meatless Sunday? Ryan Zimmerman (-8.6%), Jayson Werth (-8.6%), and Laynce Nix (-9.8%) go 1-12 with 4 Ks, and get thrown out trying to stretch their hit.

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Washington Nationals Drop 7-4 Decision To The Baltimore Orioles, Ending Win Streak At Eight.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals walks to the dugout after striking out against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park on June 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Baltimore Orioles won, 7-4. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

• Today's Top 5: 

5. Elbow's Fine, Ready To Go: Tom Gorzelanny hasn't made a start for the Nats since May 23rd in Milwaukee, when the Nationals' lefty surrendered eight hits, three home runs and six runs total to the Brewers. A stint on the DL with inflammation in his elbow followed and the former Pirates and Cubs' pitcher made one start for the Nats' Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, surrendering five hits, a home run and four earned runs in 4.1 IP before he declared himself ready to return. In a seven-pitch scoreless first, the Nationals' starter looks strong. In the second, through no fault of his own, Gorzelanny's quickly in a jam. Derrek Lee singles to center on a liner a diving Roger Bernadina can't come up with and Ryan Zimmerman throws one over second and into right on what should have been a sure thing double play. Mark Reynolds reaches on a swinging bunt, and the bases are loaded for O's catcher Craig Tatum, who grounds into a double play that allows the first run of the game to score. 1-0 O's after one and half, sixteen pitches for Gorzelanny in the second...

4. LESS HOMERZ!!: Tom Gorzelanny's given up more HR's this year (14.1% HR/FB in 11 to 9.1% career HR/FB, 1.87 HR/9 this year to 1.03 HR/9 career) than he has before in the six MLB seasons he played with Pittsburgh and Chicago before the trade that brought him to Washington this winter. Six and now seven of the the eleven HR's Gorzelanny's allowed this season have come in his last four starts, and J.J. Hardy's solo shot to straight-center this afternoon gives the Nats' left-hander more HR's allowed in 56.0 this season than he allowed in 136.1 IP in 2010. Gorzelanny gives up a single to Nick Markakis after Hardy's HR and throws a wild pitch as he walks Adam Jones to put runners on first and third before a Derrek Lee DP grounder ends the frame with the score 2-0 Orioles after three. In the fourth, Mark Reynolds doubles on a sharp line drives past Zimmerman at third and a Craig Tatum single to center scores Reynolds from second, 3-0 Orioles after three and a half.  

3. Take...On...Me: O's right-hander Chris Jakubauskas has two down in the fourth after throwing three scoreless in Nats Park this afternoon. Laynce Nix is at first after grounding into a force at second that erases Roger Bernadina from the basepaths after the Shark's leadoff single. Michael Morse rips into a full-count fastball from the O's 32-year-old righty, and it gets by Mark Reynolds at third, rolling into left for an RBI double that scores Nix from first. 3-1 Orioles. Danny Espinosa gets an 0-2 fastball inside and the Nats' second baseman drives it to right for the second of two back-to-back RBI doubles and the Nationals are right back in the game at 3-2. 

2. Oh No O's: The O's respond immediately, however, when Jakubauskas singles to start the fifth. The O's third base coach sends the pitcher around third on a J.J. Hardy double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right, but the relay throw from Werth to Espinosa and on home to Ramos arrives way ahead of the Orioles' starter. "You'rrrrre OUT!" One down. Markakis flies to left. Two down. But Adam Jones and Derrek Lee follow with an RBI single and double, respectively, and Gorzelanny's done. 5-2 O's after four and a half. Make that 5-3! ROGER BERNADINA GOES YARD!! The Shark chomps down on a 1-0 fastball form Jakubauskas and drives it out to right-center and over the out-of-town scoreboard for his third HR in the last four days and fourth on the year. 5-3 Orioles after the fifth. Mark Reynolds works a twelve pitch at bat against Todd Coffey in the O's sixth, and drives an 88mph slider to left and just over the wall into the first row of seats, 6-3 Orioles in the 6th. 

1. STREAK???: O's reliever Jim Johnson throws two scoreless, protecting the O's lead through the sixth and seventh, and the Orioles add a run in the top of the eighth. Nats' right-hander Collin Balester, in his first outing in over a week, surrenders a leadoff single to Nolan Reimold, who steals second, takes third on an errant throw by Wilson Ramos and scores two outs later on a sac fly by Craig Tatum. 7-3 O's after seven and a half. Roger Bernadina reaches first on an infield single to start the Nats' seventh, but three outs later he's stranded there with the Nationals still trailing by four runs. Danny Espinosa's ninth inning HR off Koji Uehara is the Nats' second baseman's 13th of the season, tying him for the team lead with Michael Morse, but it's not enough as the O's hold on for a 7-4 win, snapping the Nationals' win streak at eight-straight. 

• Notes: The Nationals commit three errors, one each for Zimmerman, Werth and Ramos, but they manage to turn four double plays and throw a runner out at home. The Orioles collect 14 hits, seven runs, three home runs and three doubles. The Nationals get two solo HR's, and get just two opportunities on the day with RISP. Tom Gorzelanny gives up 10 hits total, five runs, four earned. Two K's each for Werth, Zim and Morse. Danny Espinosa goes 2 for 4 with a double and a HR in the loss. 

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

Num Name - Comments
1 dc Roach - 188
2 MissB - 51
3 rachel216 - 42
4 Dan Shields - 38
5 cat daddy3000 - 33
6 FanSince05 - 28
7 Whupass - 27
8 CptChaosSideKick - 18
9 d_c_guy - 10
10 Elvin Unseld - 9


Nationals now 35-37.

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Rizzo on streak, trade deadline, Potomac

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Game 72 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Orioles

Ian Desmond is out of the lineup to provide his hurting left thigh a break. His health has not deteriorated, but like last week, Manager Jim Riggleman wanted to let Desmond rest for two straight days, a luxury tomorrow’s off day allows. But Desmond isn’t in any worse shape than he has been. “Just a day off,” he said.

The Nationals today will try for their second straight sweep and a nine-game winning streak, which would be the second longest in team history and the longest in the major leagues this season. And, of course, a win would get them to an even .500. That would be accomplishment considering, on May 30, less than three weeks ago, they were 22-31.

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