Washington Nationals vs. Braves Preview (8/12-8/14)
The Washington Nationals finish up their eight game homestand with a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves
This week, the Washington Nationals (67-46) split a two game series against the Cleveland Indians for the second time this season. Max Scherzer was dominant on Tuesday, but the offense managed only one run. On Wednesday, the offense came through with seven runs in support of Gio Gonzalez. During this series, Jayson Werth extended his on-base streak to 40 games and had a pair of home runs.
Tonight, the Nats wrap up their eight game homestand against the team that is in last place in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves (43-72). These two teams haven’t faced each other since April 14 and the Washington Nationals went 6-0 in those games.
But, the Braves have made some changes since then, including hiring a new manager (Brian Snitker) after firing Fredi Gonzalez. Plus, they made a trade to help their offense when they acquired Matt Kemp from the San Diego Padres. Kemp is hitting .270 with seven home runs and 16 RBI’s since the All-Star Break and has eight RBI’s against the Washington Nationals this season.
Since the All-Star Break, the Braves are 12th in the National League in runs scored (100), but first baseman Freddie Freeman always seems to give the Washington Nationals problems. Freeman is hitting .281 this season with 21 home runs and 49 RBI’s.
As for the starting rotation, the Braves have had to use a lot of young pitchers to fill out the rotation. Currently, they are without their ace, Julio Teheran, who is currently on the disabled list because of a strained lat. With Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list as well, Jim Johnson has become the closer in Atlanta and he has nine saves in 12 chances.
Before the game starts tonight, check out my breakdown of the three pitching matchups between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves:
Next: Tonight's Matchup