Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats send Stephen Strasburg out to the mound in the second game vs. Atlanta.
The Braves' lineup looks a little different today with Evan Gattis starting behind the plate, they have B.J. Upton at the top and Chris Johnson at first. Strasburg was 3-1 against Atlanta last season, but held a 4.10 ERA with 12 ER in 26 1/3 innings pitched. His last outing vs. the Braves was on Aug. 21 when he gave up just one run through six with ten strikeouts.
Could be another great game as these division rivals get to know the 2013 versions of each other.
Updates to come...
ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: FOX, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 69 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 Wilson Ramos
RHP Stephen Strasburg
CF B.J. Upton
RF Jason Heyward
LF Justin Upton
C Evan Gattis
2B Dan Uggla
3B Juan Francisco
1B Chris Johnson
SS Ramiro Pena
RHP Tim Hudson
HP Fieldin Culbreth
1B Bill Welke
2B Brian O'Nora
3B Adrian Johnson
1:03 p.m. -- Anthem in the books, the sun is out, a great day for baseball at Nationals Park.
1:18 p.m. -- Strasburg let a man get on in the top of the first with Jason Heyward taking a fastball off the lower back. Stras beamed him with a 97 mile per hour heater and you could tell he was hurting on his trot to first. Justin Upton then struck out before Evan Gattis popped up to end the inning. Strasburg at 16 pitches (11 strikes). Nats now get to start it off vs. Hudson.
1:28 p.m. -- The bottom of the first started out well for the Nats with Span getting a single up the middle. Span even got to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Hudson. But a lineout to center by Werth got Span caught on the base path as Justin Upton threw to second for the double play. Harper then struck out on an inside breaking ball. Hudson threw 15 pitches, nine for strikes, in the frame.
1:39 p.m. -- The Braves got two men on with an infield single by Dan Uggla and a walk by Ramiro Pena. With two outs Hudson poked a single past Desmond that looked like a sure RBI hit, but then Harper stepped up and gunned him out at home. The crowd gasped as it looked like the Braves were going to take the lead, yet we head to the second still scoreless. The lesson here: don't run on Bryce Harper. Strasburg at 34 pitches (21 strikes).
1:46 p.m. -- The Nats again got their leadoff hitter on with a Zimmerman single up the middle, but a LaRoche grounder to first caught Zimm in a rundown. It was scored a 3-6-3 double play and set up Desmond to ground out to end the inning. Hudson at an efficient 29 pitches (19 strikes) so far.
1:57 p.m. -- Strasburg got through the first two batters with no problems, and thought he was out of the inning by inducing a groundball by Justin Upton. Zimmerman, however, was off by several feet on the throw to first to extend the inning. Upton stole second and was then sent home on a two-run shot by Evan Gattis. Braves took a 2-0 lead in an inning that was supposed to be over. Strasburg at 56 (36 strikes) already.
2:02 p.m. -- Quick inning for Hudson as the Nats' 7-8-9 hitters all go down with infield grounders. No balls out of the infield and none on as the Braves' pitcher threw just six pitches to get through. He is at 35 pitches for the day.
2:14 p.m. -- The Braves were held scoreless in the fourth inning, but once again they made it interesting with two outs. Strasburg allowed two singles, including one to Hudson for his second of the day. B.J. Upton then popped to LaRoche in foul territory to end the frame. The extra pitches with two outs put Strasburg at 79 pitches through four.
2:26 p.m. -- The Nats go another scoreless inning despite getting a runner on. Werth singled to right with one out, but Harper and Zimmerman both flew out to end the inning. Hudson had to work a little more than his previous inning, but is only at 54 pitches through four.
2:34 p.m. -- Strasburg gets out of the inning 1-2-3 although Heyward missed a home run in center field by just a few feet. He is at 95 pitches (59 strikes) through five and would be pitching a scoreless game if it weren't for the two-out disaster in the third. Right now Zimmerman's error is looming large, still 2-0 Braves.
2:40 p.m. -- Finally the Nats get on the board with a two-out home run by Danny Espinosa, his first of the year. Espi took the first pitch of the at-bat over the right field scoreboard to cut the lead to one. Braves still up 2-1. Hudson has tossed 62 with 44 of them strikes.
2:51 p.m. -- Strasburg has a quick frame in the sixth with a 1-2-3 inning and some of his best stuff all day. Strasburg's game: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, 7 SO, HR, WP, HBP. He threw 112 pitches (68 strikes) and will be pinch-hit for by Roger Bernadina. Zach Duke is up in the bullpen.
3:02 p.m. -- Crisp seventh inning for Zach Duke who got three outs on weak contact made by Braves hitters. Pena and Hudson flied out and B.J. Upton grounded out to third to end the inning. Still 2-1 Braves.
3:13 p.m. -- The Nats get no one on in a 1-2-3 inning that included a really nice diving grab by Jason Heyward in right field. LaRoche belted a line drive into the corner that could have been a double or more, but Heyward snagged it on the run, full extending to make the catch. Henry Rodriguez will take over in the eighth.
3:26 p.m. -- It wouldn't be a Henry Rodriguez inning without something interesting happening. He got the first out quick, but then walked Justin Upton. Upton then stole second on a very close play that replays should probably should have been an out. Henry then walked Gattis to put two men on. He was able to strike out Uggla on a swooping curve that Uggla swung at, but awkwardly stepped back as he did. Francisco then grounded out to Espinosa to end the inning. O'Flaherty in to pitch for Atlanta with Andrelton Simmons in at shortstop.
3:33 p.m. -- No one on for Nats as Desmond flies out and Espinosa and Ramos ground out. Espinosa's call at first was very close as first baseman Chris Johnson had to step off bag to catch throw. Mattheus in to pitch and Suzuki in to catch. Looked like Ramos may have tweaked something on run to first when he grounded out.
3:47 p.m. -- Atlanta adds another run on a fielder's choice, Heyward was up with the bases loaded, one out and hit a grounder the Nats couldn't quite double up on. Kimbrel now in to try and close this one out. He's pretty good at this.
3:52 p.m. -- One, two, three for Craig Kimbrel as the Nats drop the second game of the series. 3-1 is the final score.