Nats lose in Houston, 9-4

The Nationals are going to have to learn to not rely only on John Lannan for a victory every five or six days. While Lannan has been dynamite, especially in the last month, no one is invincible.

The Nats found this out the hard way Thursday as the staff’s ace got ruffed up for 11 hits and five earned runs in only five innings. The poor performance raised the lefty’s ERA to 3.70 and earned him his sixth loss of the season.

More troubling however has to be the performance of Nationals closer Mike MacDougal. In the eighth inning he was brought in to basically stop the bleeding and keep the game within reach going into the ninth (a surprisingly smart move by Manny Acta). MacDougal however fell apart, allowing three earned runs on three hits and one walk.

Before last night MacDougal has only allowed two earned runs and 12 hits as a Washington National in 18 games.

Hopefully for the Nationals this is a fluke and not the end of an unrealistic streak of success for MacDougal. As proven earlier on this blog, MacDougal does not have a history of success since his arm injuries in his Kansas City days.

Has the closer come back down to earth?

On a brighter note, Nick Johnson may have found his stroke. We need him to get on a hot streak so we can trade him by the end of the month.