MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats' offense has tough time vs. Mets

Washington has gone 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position in first two games

Nats' offense has tough time vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- The Nationals' offense has struggled against the Mets in the first two games of an important three-game series this weekend. In those two games, the Nationals scored a combined three runs and went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

In Saturday's 3-2 loss to New York, for example, it looked like the Nationals were going to break things open early as they scored two runs in the first inning off right-hander Jacob deGrom. Ian Desmond highlighted the inning with a two-run single.

Desmond's two-run single

However, the Nationals collected four singles the rest of the way and now find themselves just one game ahead of the Mets in the National League East race.

Wasn't the offense supposed to improve with the return of Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman? Turns out they have been a little rusty since they returned to action.

"I think it's a combination of quality pitchers on the other side, some guys coming back from injuries," manager Matt Williams said. "They have to get some timing back. We have confidence in those guys. Zim swung the bat good tonight. Anthony and Jayson are getting there on their timing. Combination of all those things."

Werth said the offense will be all right. Sometimes it takes just a minute to get the offense rolling.

"I think it's a matter of time before we start putting crooked numbers on the board and get it rolling," Werth said. "We are in these games. Big game Sunday. We have to pick up that game tomorrow and get back in front of our fans and we'll be good."

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.