Roughly two months and 60 aimless games after they entered the season as World Series favorites, the brightest hope for the Washington Nationals on Friday was the fact that they had been rained out for a second consecutive game.

In his office the previous night, Manager Davey Johnson beamed. The weather had provided a break for his beleaguered team, fresh off a 10-1 loss to the New York Mets the night before that crystallized so much of what has gone wrong.

Fans streamed out of Nationals Park in the latter innings, leaving swaths of empty blue seats. In a mostly barren clubhouse, starting pitcher Dan Haren shook his head and stared at the floor. Stephen Strasburg, the ace on the disabled list, sat facing the locker next to Haren and nodded blankly as pitching coach Steve McCatty whispered in his ear. A new boom box, brought by Jayson Werth to enhance the mood, had been switched off.

The Nationals entered the season under Johnson’s “World Series or Bust” banner, boasting a roster both experts and Nationals officials believed had improved after they won 98 games and a division title in 2012. More than a third of the way through the most anticipated baseball season in Washington’s history, though, the Nationals own a 29-30 record and sit in third place, behind both the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

The Nationals’ unexpected joyride in 2012 has yielded to a parade of injuries, underperformance, backfiring decisions and worst-case scenarios. On Monday, 20-year-old outfielder Bryce Harper will visit orthopedist James Andrews — the same surgeon who repaired Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s torn knee ligaments – for a second opinion on his swollen left knee. Thursday afternoon, despite 10 days of rest, Harper limped as he walked through the Nationals’ clubhouse.

Nationals players are resolute they can right their season. Tuesday night, after they had overcome a late-inning deficit for the first time all year, Werth said the disappointing first two months had not surprised him – he had told Johnson back in spring training to expect it.