Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals–Braves (6/30-7/2)

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Jun 24, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 3.42 ERA) vs. Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.94 ERA), 7:10 pm ET, Broadcast on MASN

This is a rematch of a pitching gem that took place June 24th. Zimmermann pitched eight innings of shut out ball. Miller pitched seven innings, only giving up one run. Both pitchers were brilliant and got no decisions, but Jordan was just a little bit better that day.

Shelby Miller is the best starter on the Braves staff. The Nationals did not score many runs against him during their last meeting, and should expect Miller to be stingy with the runs during this game as well. During his only “bad” start this year, he gave up four earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched. Other than that game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 2, he has proven himself to be a pitcher who doesn’t give up many runs and goes fairly deep into games.

Jordan Zimmermann pitched one of his best games of the year in his last outing. Zimmerman has been inconsistent at times this year and he really did not have good starts in the three games leading up to his eight inning gem against the Braves. Nats fans are hoping that Jordan’s last outing is a demonstration that he is back on track. However, he has not shown the consistancy that Miller has this year.

This game may come down to the bullpens, just like the last game did. The Nationals were able to go right to Drew Storen for the ninth inning after Zimmermann pitched eight innings. Storen blew the save and allowed the Braves to tie the game. The Nationals won the game in the bottom of the eleventh with Desmond’s sacrifice fly off David Aardsma, although the run was charged to Dana Eveland.

Advantage: Even. This game could be another pitcher’s duel if both pitchers are on the top of their games. If one of these guys is at all wobbly, the steadier pitcher should pick up the win. Both teams’  bullpens have some good performers and some shaky ones. This game may come down to which bullpen keeps runners off base.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup