Part of the fallout from Washington's first rough stretch this season was what may be the end of Brad Lidge's career.
The man who may have done more to win the World Series for the Phillies in 2008 than any other was shown the door by the Nationals on Sunday after blowing two games in two days.
Lidge allowed three runs in Washington's 7-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday and was the losing pitcher on Saturday, giving up two runs in the 14th inning of a 5-3 defeat.
"Brad wasn't performing very well," said general manager Mike Rizzo, with breath-taking understatement.
The righthander was 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances with the Nationals, and opponents were batting .308 against him.
After Saturday's game, Lidge said he felt he was making good pitches, but the batters were finding the holes.
"Just keep throwing good pitches, quality pitches, and at some point those balls will get to people and we'll make outs," Lidge said. "But until then, you've just got to battle and keep throwing strikes."
Unfortunately for a standup guy who played with professionalism and pride, his next chance may be some time off.
Phillies fans can take heart as they read the standings this morning and see the pathetic results of Sunday's interleague games.
The Phillies are playing as badly as a team with the league's highest payroll could possibly play. But still are keeping pace in their little corner of the world.
Welcome to the reality of National League baseball, Eastern Division, circa June of 2012.
Every team in the division of weaklings lost on Sunday and all but Miami are riding losing streaks of more than one. Only first-place Washington, which has lost three in a row, has a winning record (6-4) in the last 10 games.
The reason, of course, is that four of the five were playing teams from the muscular AL East, which brushed the National Leaguers aside with arrogant disdain. (The Mets did the rest of the division a favor by losing three straight to Cincinnati).
The Nationals were dusted off by the Yankees in a matchup of first-place teams, getting swept at home for the first time this season and scoring only six runs in the three games.
In fairness to Washington, the Nats are 7-4 in interleague play, tied with Arizona for best among NL clubs. Cincinnati (6-3) and San Diego (5-3) are the only other NL teams with winning interleague records. (Seven AL clubs have winning interleague marks).
Around the bigs
Angels rookie Mike Trout ended a 1-for-20 slump with an RBI double in the seventh inning in a 2-0 win over Arizona. It was the Angels' major league-best ninth shutout victory.
The Mets scored 29 runs in a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay prior to the Cincinnati series, but scored only five against the Reds.
Boston placed outfielder Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with irritation in a bone in his left foot.
Contact Don McKee at email@example.com.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.