Despite the wonderful start to the 2012 campaign, the Washington Nationals are beginning to pay the price for their weak hitting.
They have now lost four in a row after getting swept this weekend in Los Angeles. Injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse, two of their most productive and clutch hitters, have played a major role in diminishing their offensive output.
Despite continued excellent pitching during the losing streak (only 11 runs against), the Nationals batters are a combined 19 of 129 at the plate, a .147 average. They have scored just six runs and have seen their season average dip below 3.5, which ranks in the last fourth of the National League.
The scoring drought will lift at some point, perhaps this week when the Diamondbacks visit Nationals Park beginning Tuesday. Their pitchers rank in the lower half of the National League in this young season. Unfortunately, the dominating Phillies staff comes in for a weekend series that may extend the doldrums.