Thursday, May 12, 2011

Game 37: Nats at Braves

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to finish their road trip with a winning record tonight at Turner Field.
What would you have thought one week ago, right after the Nationals were swept in Philadelphia, if I said they'd have a chance to end this nine-game road trip with a winning record? And what would you have thought two weeks ago if I said the Nats would have a chance to end a 13-game stretch against the Giants, Phillies, Marlins and Braves with an 8-5 record? With Ryan Zimmerman about to undergo surgery?

How quickly things can change. The Nationals enter tonight's game in Atlanta looking to sweep the Braves, close out the road trip with five wins in six games and get their record over the .500 mark to boot.

In order to do all that, they'll need to string together some hits against Derek Lowe (who shut them out on Opening Day in D.C.). They'll also need another strong start from Jordan Zimmermann. And, in all likelihood, they'll need a shutdown performance from the back of their bullpen, perhaps from Drew Storen (who hasn't allowed an earned run in 20 appearances, not since his first outing of the season).

You know by now that I'm not in Atlanta, but the good news is I'll be back at Nationals Park tomorrow night for the start of the homestand, and I'll be making the road trips to both New York and Baltimore next week. Until then, enjoy tonight's game...

Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to CF
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Danny Espinosa
C Ivan Rodriguez
3B Alex Cora
P Jordan Zimmermann

BRAVES (20-18)
LF Martin Prado
CF Nate McLouth
3B Chipper Jones
C Brian McCann
2B Dan Uggla
RF Eric Hinske
1B Freddie Freeman
SS Alex Gonzalez
P Derek Lowe


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