MIAMI -- The Nationals only lost 11 games last season by five runs or more, but they've already been on the receiving end of three such blowouts 14 games into the 2013 season.
Washingon lost, 8-2, to the Marlins on Tuesday. The Reds handed the Nationals their most lopsided defeat of the young season, 15-0, on April 5, and the Braves beat them up, 9-0, on Sunday. The Nationals won 21 games in 2012 by five runs or more, and they've taken two games by that margin this year -- both against the 3-11 Marlins.
"Nobody likes to get blown out, obviously, but they say a loss is a loss and a win's a win. I think it's still really early in the season," Ryan Zimmerman said. "I really hope nobody is panicking or worrying. ... We've lost some bad ones. We came out [Monday] night and thrown up some runs. It's just part of the early part of the season.
"That's part of the game, I guess. Last year, we had so many one-run games and close games. It's a little different. I guess it's just so many of them happening so quick. [Monday] night, winning by so much. [Tuesday night], they jumped out to a bigger lead. It just happens. It's part of the game."
Nationals manager Davey Johnson attributed the early blowouts to the Nationals' bullpen performance, though he took much of the responsibility upon himself. Washington's relievers owned a 5.61 ERA and a .289 opponents' batting average heading into Wednesday's series finale in Miami.
"The bullpen hasn't been as strong, and they haven't been throwing the ball like they're capable of throwing," Johnson said. "It's kind of a little bit out of sync, and that's my fault. And we had a couple tough series, White Sox and Atlanta, kind of threw the pitching off a little bit coming out of the 'pen. I'll get it right."