Washington Nationals Recap: Pitching Impresses as Nats beat Braves 3-0

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Oct 1, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher

Stephen Strasburg

(37) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals look to salvage a game in their three-game set against the Atlanta Braves on a rainy Thursday night in Atlanta and were able to do just that on a great performance by the pitching staff and an opportunistic offense.

The Nationals sent out Stephen Strasburg, who has been nothing short of amazing since his return from the DL, against the rookie Ryan Weber for the Braves.

This was a classic pitchers’ duel as the starters were able to work deep into the game. Weber seemed to confound the Nationals’ bats all night as he went seven innings on five hits and one earned run.

As good as Weber was, Strasburg may have been better. He did not have his best stuff all night, but he was still able to locate his fastball and keep the Braves off the board through his six innings of work.

The Nationals opened the scoring in the top of the second when Clint Robinson took a two-seamer running away from him and blasted it on a line over the left-field wall to make the score 1-0.

The Braves scattered their six hits against Stephen Strasburg and he only faced a bit of trouble in the bottom of the second. After Cameron Maybin fouled out to Robinson, Nick Markakis and Adonis Garcia both singled putting runners on first and second with two outs. Stras, knowing this was his last inning, dug deep and was able to strike out the next two batters to get out of the inning.

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The bottom of the seventh, a frame that has haunted the Nats all year, was also a bit of an adventure for Blake Treinen. After getting Andrelton Simmons to ground out, Treinen walked Ryan Lavarnway and allowed a Michael Bourn single. With runners on first and second with two outs, Treinen used his sinker to induce Maybin to ground out to end the inning.

The Nats were able to tack on a few insurance runs in the top of the eighth with a little help from the Atlanta defense. Wilson Ramos got the party started with a single to right and Wilmer Difo came in to pinch run for Ramos. Yunel Escobar followed with a walk and, after a Anthony Rendon strike out, Trea Turner grounded into what should have been at least a fielder’s choice to get the second out. Instead, Garcia overshot his target at second and allowed Difo to score, Escobar to take second and Trea to reach first safely. Bryce Harper then followed looking to add to his RBI total and he was able to do so with a bit of hustle. He grounded into what looked like a sure-fire 6-4-3 double play, but he beat out the relay throw making the score 3-0.

The Felipe Rivero tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth to close out the game and make the final score 3-0.

Next Game: The Washington Nationals (81-78) will start the final series of the year against the New York Mets (89-70) on Friday night in New York. You can catch the game on MASN2 at 7:10 PM ET. The Nationals will start Gio Gonzalez (11-8, 3.93 ERA) against Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34 ERA) for the Mets.

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