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Dan Haren watches as Marlon Byrd rounds the bases after a homer.
Hitting lowlight: Not that a couple of changes were going to completely turn the Nationals' offensive fortunes around, but the additions of Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon to the lineup figured to have more of a positive impact than a negative one. Not on this night. Werth really struggled at the plate, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and stranding five runners in scoring position. Rendon, making his first big-league start at second base, did double in his final at-bat (once the game was well out-of-hand) but was 0-for-3 with a strikeout prior to that point. Obviously, you can't judge anybody on one ballgame, but this wasn't exactly an encouraging debut for the Nationals' restocked lineup.
Pitching lowlight: Overall, Haren has been a much better pitcher over the last month, but he's still been plagued by one big problem: an inability to keep the ball in the yard. Haren's control needs to be pinpoint to avoid serious contact. It hasn't been quite pinpoint enough. Tonight, the right-hander served up three home runs, two of them to Marlon Byrd. That's 15 homers now surrendered by Haren in 67 2/3 innings, most allowed in the majors. Obviously, he's going to be susceptible to the occasional longball, but Haren's going to have to do a better job limiting those blasts and not allowing them in bunches, especially with men on base.
Key stat: Last season, the Nationals lost eight games by six or more runs. They've already lost nine times by that much this season.
Up next: The series concludes Thursday evening when Nate Karns returns to the mound for his third career start, still seeking his first career win. Mets right-hander Shaun Marcum (0-6, 5.71) also seeks his first win.