Nats Drop Four Straight; Skins Best Colts in Home Debut
August 27, 2012
By Ceci Ferrara
Now is not a good time for the Nationals to start falling apart.
It was just around this time last year that the Braves had their epic late-season collapse, allowing the St Louis Cardinals to clinch the wild-card and push them out of the playoffs. Let’s hope history is not about to repeat itself.
Of course, this type of talk is premature. While it’s true the Nats have dropped four straight, they are still 4.5 games ahead of the Braves in the National League East and, at 77-50, remain at the top of the league in overall wins. Still, it’s hard not to worry when the team falls three times to a club not even playing .500 ball.
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is confident that it’s just a temporary skid: “We just have to learn from our mistakes and keep playing good baseball. I mean, we’ve played good baseball, we’ve just gotten beat.”
Next the Nationals will face the Marlins for two games before returning home for a Labor Day weekend series against the defending world champ St Louis Cardinals. They are hoping Strasburg (15-5, 2.85 ERA), set to start Tuesday night, will help them bounce back from their losing streak. They will also have the added help of shortstop Ian Desmond and outfielder Michael Morse who are back from injury.
Let’s hope Strasburg gets them back on track. Because if their best pitcher can’t succeed against last place Miami (58-71; .450), then it might be time to worry.
Saturday was quite possibly the most hyped preseason game in recent memory. Aside from it being RG3’s home debut as a Redskin, it was the first professional meeting of Griffin and Andrew Luck—the top two picks in this year’s draft.
While neither Griffin nor Luck played spectacularly, both were solid. Griffin completed 11 of his 17 passes for 74 yards. Though he was not as accurate or quick out of the pocket as some veterans, he managed some shining moments in the Redskins’ 30-17 victory over the Colts. Just before the half, Griffin threw a perfect four-yard TD to Santana Moss, putting the Skins ahead 14-7.
Luck, meanwhile, completed 14 of 23 for 151 yards, but had trouble escaping the pass rush and was sacked twice. When he had the rare chance to relax in the pocket his arm looked strong and accurate, most notably when he connected with T.Y. Hilton for a 31-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
While most eyes were on RG3, another rookie impressed against the Colts: Alfred Morris. He ran for 107 yards including his first NFL touchdown. Morris is up for the starting job against veteran Tim Hightower who played in his first game since tearing his ACL last year.
Saturday was probably the last glimpse of Griffin and the rest of the starting lines until the season starts. Starters normally play most of the third preseason game and sit out the fourth to adequately prepare for the season opener. The Redskins will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday in their final practice run before they face the Saints on September 9th.