MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats' RISP struggles carry over in season opener

Nats' RISP struggles carry over in season opener

WASHINGTON -- Manager Matt Williams said he wants to see the Nationals improve on last season when it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position.

In 2014, the team hit .242 with runners in scoring position and .198 with runners in scoring position with two outs. The Nationals had chances to score in their 3-1 Openind Day loss to the Mets on Monday and couldn't take advantage.

Williams on Scherzer, loss

The Nationals were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Their biggest chance came in the first inning, when they had runners on first and second with no outs against right-hander Bartolo Colon. But Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman struck out and Wilson Ramos grounded out to end the threat.

Five innings later with Colon still on the mound, the Nationals had runners on first and second with two outs when Ramos struck out to end the threat.

"He's got a paint brush in his glove. I mean literally," said Harper, who hit a solo home run in the fourth inning. "He's impressive out there. He can throw every pitch for a strike. He throws that heater a lot, but it's moving, dancing all over the place. He throws that back-door cutter, throws that high heater you think you can crush, and he blows it by you. So he's pretty tough out there, so if you can get a pitch over the plate, you can do what you did."

Williams said he wasn't frustrated by the lack of runs in the game. He was pleased that the Nationals had chances to score.

"We want to keep providing ourselves those opportunities. Keep providing them for us and we'll take our chances," Williams said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.