Nationals Show Fight, But Fall Short 7-6 In Houston

- The Washington Nationals dropped the second game of a three-game set with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park by a score of 7-6.

Jordan Zimmermann (6-8, 3.00 ERA) started for the Nationals and struggled, laboring through 5 innings allowing 7 hits and 6 runs (all earned). However he did strike out 5 and walked none.

- If you thought Jayson Werth and Adam Dunn’s struggles were a mystery, then take a look at J.A. Happ (4-11, 5.88 ERA) who started the game for the Astros. Coming into tonight’s game he led the league with 11 losses and was sporting a 5.76 ERA. Tonight’s performance wasn’t anything to build on as Happ went 5 2/3 innings allowing 7 hits and 5 runs (all earned) while walking 4 and striking out 3.

- Happ also allowed a two-run home run on two separate occasions. Once against Michael Morse in the third and another against Jerry Hairston Jr. in the sixth. After homering in last night’s game as well Morse may never want to leave Houston!

- One of the mistakes Zimmermann made was giving up a two-run shot to Clint Barmes when he was one strike away from ending the inning, thus giving the Astros an early 2-0 lead.

- Zimmermann ran into some serious trouble in the fourth. With one out and two runners in scoring position, Barmes was up again and this time connected on a line drive to center scoring Carlos Lee. The inning continued with RBI hits by Humberto Quintero and Michael Bourn making it a 6-2 game.

- The two teams entered the sixth with the Astros still holding onto their commanding 6-2 lead. Following Haiston’s two-run shot cutting the score to 6-4, Ian Desmond made it a one run game with a ground ball up the middle scoring Alex Cora.

- Each team traded runs their next turns at bat, but the Nationals failed to get any closer in tying the game against a team with the leagues worst record.

- For what its worth, Ryan Zimmerman looked what appeared to be an opposite field game tying home run in the top of the ninth. The ruling was foul but I swear it grazed against the pole.

Livan Hernandez (5-9, 4.09 ERA) will meet Brett Myers (3-10, 4.86 ERA) in the series finale starting at 1:05.