Diamondbacks 7, Nationals 4
Game in a nutshell: Contrary to popular belief, the Nationals aren't perfect. And they can't win every night. So the winning streak came to an end today, halted at eight games with a lopsided loss to the Diamondbacks in the series finale at Chase Field. The Nats did not play a clean game, from Ross Detwiler's shaky start to Ryan Zimmerman and Kurt Suzuki's throwing errors to Bryce Harper getting picked off first base. They also put up little fight against rookie left-hander Patrick Corbin, who faced the minimum over six innings before finally fading in the seventh. At that point, the deficit was seven runs, so there wasn't much hope of a stirring rally. Thus the Nationals leave the desert with a 6-1 record on the road trip, looking to bounce back tomorrow night in San Francisco.
Hitting lowlight: Make no bones about it, Harper is in a prolonged slump at the plate. Though he was credited with a single in his first at-bat today, the play easily could have been scored an error on shortstop John McDonald. (Plus, Harper immediately was picked off first base.) He's now hitting .249 for the season, the lowest his batting average has stood since May 20. Davey Johnson has sat the rookie twice during this road trip, and it wouldn't be shocking if he gave Harper another day off during this week's series in San Francisco (perhaps Tuesday against left-hander Madison Bumgarner).
Pitching lowlight: Detwiler's numbers -- three hits allowed in 4 23 innings -- didn't look awful, but this was by no means a quality start. The left-hander was done in by a lack of command, leading to a walk and two hit batters. And all three of those batters wound up scoring, adding to the significance of Detwiler's wildness. He wasn't helped by his defense, either, especially in the second inning when Zimmerman and Suzuki each committed throwing errors that led to another run. But mostly, Detwiler just wasn't sharp this afternoon. Which pretty much described the Nationals' overall performance in this game.
Key stat: Michael Morse's seventh-inning single would have given the outfielder a 21-game hitting streak (second-longest in Nationals history) ... but the Phillies' appeal of Morse's Aug. 2 base hit reduced this current streak to only 10 games.
Up next: A marquee matchup opens in San Francisco tomorrow night when the Nationals face the Giants. Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Vogelsong meet in the opener at 10:15 p.m., with Jordan Zimmermann facing Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday and Stephen Strasburg taking on Tim Lincecum in Wednesday's finale.