Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Braves come to Nationals Park for a big weekend series.
Game 1 features a matchup of guys who technically are No. 5 starters but really don't fit the typical mold of a No. 5 starter. Ross Detwiler emerged late last season as burgeoning elite pitcher, and he pitched very well in his season debut last weekend in Cincinnati. Julio Teheran, meanwhile, remains a bright prospect for the Braves, a 22-year-old flamethrower making only his sixth career start.
Nothing surprising in the Nats' lineup, with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate tonight. Something to keep in mind for later in the game: Rafael Soriano probably won't be available after pitching three straight nights, so don't be surprised if Drew Storen is used in a closer situation, should the opportunity present itself.
Updates to come...
ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB Network (outside DC market), MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 89
Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to RF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Ross Detwiler
SS Andrelton Simmons
RF Jason Heyward
LF Justin Upton
1B Evan Gattis
CF B.J. Upton
2B Dan Uggla
3B Chris Johnson
C Gerald Laird
RHP Julio Teheran
HP Adrian Johnson
1B Fieldin Culbreth (cc)
2B Bill Welke
3B Brian O'Nora
7:07 p.m. -- We are underway on a very pleasant, if a bit windy, Friday night in the District. Looks like it's going to be a big crowd on hand for this showdown between NL East powerhouses. Andrelton Simmons get this one going by fouling off Ross Detwiler's first pitch.
7:12 p.m. -- Hoo boy, does Detwiler look pumped up for this game or what? He was pumping out fastballs in the top of the first, striking out Simmons on three pitches (the last one 95 mph down and in). He did surrender a soft single to Jason Heyward but otherwise dominated the inning on 13 pitches (9 strikes). Good start to the evening for Ross.
7:27 p.m. -- Well, that's not a bad way to get this thing started on the offensive end, either. Denard Span reached on what was initially ruled an error on Chris Johnson (whose throw barely pulled Evan Gattis' foot off first base) but was later changed to a single. Two batters later, Bryce Harper took an outside fastball from Julio Teheran and sent it careening over the left-field fence, an absolute bullet of a two-run homer. That's Harper's fifth homer in 10 games this season, making him only the second player under 21 ever to do that (joining Miguel Cabrera). It's 2-0 Nats after one.
7:37 p.m. -- Detwiler labored a bit in the top of the second, issuing a pair of walks. But he avoided any actual damage and made it though the inning unscathed. Still 2-0 Nats in the middle of the second.
7:54 p.m. -- Man, just about every member of the Nats' lineup has put together a solid at-bat (or two) already against Teheran. Even the ones who haven't recorded a hit have still made the right-hander work. Two more runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the second, thanks to RBI singles from Span and Werth. Trent Jewett, meanwhile, is going to need rotator cuff surgery by season's end the way he waves guys around third base. 4-0 Nats after two innings. Couldn't have asked for a much better start to this weekend than that.
8:03 p.m. -- Both pitchers settled down considerably in the third, each retiring the side in short order. Still 4-0 as we move to the fourth.
8:44 p.m. -- Nice moment in the middle of the fifth as this game became official and Ryan Zimmerman was recognized on the scoreboard for playing his 1,000th game with the Nationals. Sadly, the Face of the Franchise hasn't been able to do much on the field tonight. He's now 0-for-3 with a couple groundouts and a flyout. Still 4-0, heading to the sixth.
8:56 p.m. -- Justin Upton sends a deep drive to right-center, off the top of the wall, and the umps convene to watch the replay. Took them 3 minutes, 42 seconds to decide it was a double, not a homer. That proved significant, because Detwiler responded by striking out Gattis on three pitches. He's through six innings, and he's yet to allow an earned run in 12 total innings this year.
9:03 p.m. -- Meanwhile, the Nats have done nothing against Teheran since the second inning. Not even a hit. They've kind of let him off the hook here. Still 4-0 as we go to the seventh.
9:07 p.m. -- There goes the shutout. Chris Johnson takes Detwiler deep to center. That's the first earned run he's allowed in 12 2/3 innings this season, and it leaves the Nats leading 4-1 at the stretch. Have to think that's it for Detwiler. Tyler Clippard and Henry Rodriguez are currently warming in the pen. That would leave Drew Storen for the ninth inning if needed.
9:19 p.m. -- The Nats still don't have a hit since the second inning. They've allowed the Braves to stay within striking distance here. It remains 4-1 as Clippard enters for the eighth.
9:44 p.m. -- Well, that was ... uh, interesting. Clippard got himself in a whale of trouble, issuing three walks and a single in the eighth. He nearly got out of it all without allowing a run but couldn't put away B.J. Upton and wound up walking him to force in a run. It took 35 pitches from Clippard, at which point Davey decided to pull him and go with Drew Storen for a four-out save. Storen served up a looooong flyball to Uggla, deep enough only to reach the warning track in center. So after all that, the Nats are clinging to a 4-2 lead, with Storen still needing to record three more outs.
9:53 p.m. -- Nothing for the Nats in the bottom of the eighth, so here we go with Storen facing the bottom of the Atlanta order in the ninth, still up 4-2.
10:09 p.m. -- Uh-oh. Disaster in the ninth. Storen loaded the bases with two outs, bringing up Justin Upton. Upton hit a sharp bouncer down the third base line, which Zimmerman fielded. He didn't really have a play anywhere, but decided to try to throw to second. Bad move. Not only was the throw late but it sailed wide into right field. Two runs scored, and now the game is tied heading to the bottom of the ninth.
10:17 p.m. -- We go to the 10th as the Nats go down in order. Craig Stammen in from the pen, and I would imagine he'll go multiple innings here.
10:27 p.m. -- Oh, my. Ramiro Pena takes Stammen waaaaay deep into the right-field bullpen for a two-run homer in the top of the 10th. The Nats now trail 6-4, having given up all six runs since the seventh inning. And now they get to face Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the 10th. Yikes.
10:36 p.m. -- Game over. The Nats lose 6-4 in 10. That one's not going to be shaken off so easily. But Stephen Strasburg takes the mound in 14 1/2 hours, so...