The Washington Nationals’ struggles against top-tier teams in 2014 continued on Thursday night with a 0-8 loss at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. Right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright held the Nats to just two hits in the complete game shutout at Nationals Park.
Washington’s right-handed starter Taylor Jordan had a shaky first inning which did not increase the Nats’ odds of finally beating a team they’ve dropped seven consecutive games to (eight counting last night). Jordan lasted five and a third innings and gave up seven hits and seven runs (five earned), walked two, struck out four, and hit a batter on 96 pitches (61 strikes).
But Jordan’s early struggles – he gave up three runs to the top of the St. Louis batting order in the first inning – and Wainwright’s strengths weren’t Washington’s only issues.
The Nats committed four defensive errors against the Cardinals, two of which were by shortstop Ian Desmond. Desmond now has seven errors this season bringing the team total to 20 errors in 16 games.
Desmond did manage the Nats’ first hit of the night in the second inning off Wainwright behind a walk drawn by first baseman Adam LaRoche, but the only other successful offensive output of the evening came from LaRoche in the ninth with two out when he hit a single. Otherwise, the Nats’ lineup remained mute.
A few rookies did get to make an appearance in Thursday night’s game. Pitchers Blake Treinen and Jerry Blevins pitched a total of three and two-thirds innings and gave up seven hits, one run, walked three, struck out three, and tossed one wild pitch. Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. also got in a pinch hit at-bat in the eighth with two out. Souza proceeded to walk but got called out on a 6-4 fielder’s choice play during third baseman Anthony Rendon’s final at-bat of the night.