Associated Press photo
Edwin Jackson allowed three runs over six innings.
Hitting lowlight: Remember when Adam LaRoche couldn't be contained inside the ballpark? That was only two weeks ago, but it feels much longer. LaRoche is now hitting .164 with zero homers over his last 17 games. Worse, he's failing to deliver in clutch spots the way he had been earlier in the season. He went 0-for-4 tonight, each time failing to advance a runner that was in scoring position when he came up to bat. If Morse winds up having to miss any time with his hand injury, LaRoche is going to have to step up and produce the way he has through most of the year.
Pitching highlight/lowlight: On one hand, Jackson really labored through his outing. He gave up seven hits and two walks, racking up 107 pitches in only six innings, and seemed to be trying to pitch his way out of trouble just about the entire night. On the other hand, the right-hander emerged having allowed only three runs. He was perhaps helped by a few well-struck balls that happened to be hit directly at his teammates. But he also made a few big pitches when he really needed to, especially when he struck out Ryan Howard and got Domonic Brown to ground into a double play to end a potentially disastrous first inning. Jackson expects more of himself, and the Nationals could have used more tonight, but give him credit for at least keeping this thing within reach and giving his teammates a chance.
Key stat: Jackson's ERA in the first inning this season is 7.50. His ERA in every other inning is 3.62.
Up next: The series continues tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. when Gio Gonzalez seeks his league-leading 17th win against two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.