The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — As Boston Red Sox players donned red, white and blue outfits to celebrate a 3-0 victory on the Fourth of July that completed a sweep, the Washington Nationals held a players-only meeting to discuss a fifth consecutive loss and the precarious spot they’re now in beyond the halfway point of the season.
Done in again by mistakes that get magnified in a stretch such as this, the preseason NL East favorites lost for the 17th time in 22 games Wednesday to fall below .500 for the first time this late in the year since being 60-61 on Aug. 21, 2015.
This time, it was a throwing error by Adam Eaton on a sacrifice fly in foul territory and a wild pitch by Ryan Madson (2-4) in a disastrous seventh inning that dropped the Nationals to 42-43 and kept them from making up ground on the division-leading Atlanta Braves.
“We’re a good team and we’re going to go out there and compete with anybody,” said Bryce Harper, who went 0-for-4. “We just have to keep grinding and keep doing our thing and good things will happen.”