On a sweltering July night in the District, the Nationals opened the second half of the season, hoping to erase the bad memories of a frustrating first half. Instead, this game sure felt an awful lot like so many losses from the previous 3 1/2 months.
LaRoche is out with the flu and Detwiler's rehab is not progressing as the Nats would have hoped.
With 11 straight games at home coming out of the All-Star break, the Nationals have a golden opportunity to thrust themselves into the thick of the NL East race.
With the second half of the season about to begin, the Cardinals and Red Sox continue to reign as the class of the major leagues.