WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made minor changes to the lineup ahead of Thursday's finale against the Phillies, sitting third baseman Anthony Rendon and outfielder Michael Taylor for Stephen Drew and Matt den Dekker. But it didn't work, as the Nationals were blanked for the second day in a row, this time falling 3-0 to the Phillies at Nationals Park. The Nationals collected four hits in the game.
To make matters worse, Washington hasn't scored in 22 innings. The last time the Nationals scored was Tuesday in the fifth inning, when Ryan Zimmerman singled to right field, sending Rendon home for their third run of the game.
With a tough 10-game road trip coming up, manager Dusty Baker is looking for answers sooner rather than later. The team is hitting .233, and none of the everyday position players, except for Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, are hitting above .235.
"If I knew at the moment, I'd have fixed it a long time ago," Baker said. "Like I said, we'll get it fixed. You have to work your way out of these things. That's the key. We're getting good pitching, and that's where it starts. You just gotta go back to work. It's simple."
Baker doesn't think shortstop Trea Turner, who is hitting over .350 with Triple-A Syracuse this season, is going to be promoted any time soon. Baker did note that Ben Revere would be back with the Nats soon, hopefully ahead of next weekend's series against the Cubs. Before they get there, though, Baker's team has series against the Cardinals and Royals.
"Trea has to play," Baker said. "Ben will be back. He's our igniter. We've been doing fairly well until this week in Ben's absence. The main thing is he's not coming back in the next week, so we have to find a way to win games prior to him coming back. We have no choice."
Zimmerman says the Nationals are excited for the upcoming challenge to play some of MLB's best teams on the road.
"We enjoy the challenge," Zimmerman said. "We get to see what we are really made of. We go out and play three really good teams. I think the guys in this locker room are excited for it."
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002.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.