Looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals fielded an interesting lineup–a lineup without Bryce Harper, Denard Span, or Ryan Zimmerman. Instead, Nationals fans got their first look at the likes of Nate McLouth and Kevin Frandsen. In other news Tyler Moore was added to the 25-man roster and Scott Hairston was added to the 15-day disabled list.
Now to the game, in the first inning Taylor Jordan made it clear that the infield was going to see plenty of action. With Jason Heyward on first the Nationals turned a slick 6-4-3 double play. Ian Desmond ranged to his right then threw a dart to Espinosa who made a nice turn with Heyward sliding into him. In the bottom of the first Anthony Rendon reached on a bunt single, and then Frandsen ripped a single to left. After Frandsen’s single Jayson Werth hit a ground ball up the middle, Uggla got to the ball and threw it from the shortstop side of the infield and spiked the ball in front of Freeman. It deflected off Freeman and Rendon scored.
After the eventful first inning nothing much happened until the top of the fourth when the Braves had the bases loaded and one out with Gerald Laird up. Taylor Jordan got him to a 2-2 count where he then threw his best pitch of the night, a change up down and in that Laird whiffed on.
The Braves struck in the top of the sixth with a sac fly from Dan Uggla. Quite frankly the Nats are lucky it was only a sac fly, as that ball was hit very well to deep center. Come summer that ball will be long gone.
The defining moment definitely came in the bottom of the seventh when Ian Desmond hit an absolute moonshot to left field. This was the farthest I have ever seen Ian hit a ball. It went about three rows down from the concourse.
In the ninth Rafael Soriano came in for his first save opportunity. He retired Uggla and Laird with ease but then things got interesting. Simmons had an infield single and then Ryan Doumit singled through the shift to put two on with two outs. He got to a 3-2 count against Jason Heyward, who then struck out on a slider. Soriano always seems to make things interesting.
Next up, the Nationals face the 5-1 Marlins at home starting Tuesday.