Jul 1, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span (2) hits an RBI single as Atlanta Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski (15) is shown on the play in the seventh inning of their game at Turner Field. The Braves won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
One of the things that the Washington Nationals have done different in 2015 compared to recent years is that they have been able to show they can beat the Braves. Yes, the Braves are a different team, but the Nationals entered last night’s game on a eight game win streak against their division rivals. Even with their 4-1 loss, the Nats are 9-2 against Atlanta this season. Keep in mind that the Nats were 8-11 against the Braves in 2014.
Last night, it was the Braves who had to show that they could beat the NL East leaders and they were able to do that thanks to help from the long ball. In the bottom of the fourth inning, A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe hit back-to-back home runs to put their team on the board and put Doug Fister and the Nationals in an early hole.
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As for the Nationals’ offense, they were going up against a pitcher who they had good success against last Thursday in Matt Wisler. The Braves rookie was making his third start of the season and got himself in a couple of jams due to five walks. However, the Nats could only manage one run and were unable to get big hits in key situations. This was a win that the Braves needed when you consider they had lost six of their last seven and were starting to fade fast without Freddie Freeman in the lineup.
Before Max Scherzer takes the mound tonight to try to win the series for the Nats against another rookie, Manny Banuelos, (7:10 PM ET, MASN and MLB Network), here are my takeaways from last night’s 4-1 loss:
Next: Fister's Low Groundball Totals