As the Washington Nationals begin a crucial April road trip in Atlanta, here are five players to watch against the Braves. The first of six series this year.
This week, the Washington Nationals become the second team to call on the Atlanta Braves at their new home.
Moving from Turner Field and Downtown Atlanta, the Braves moved to suburbs of Cobb County and Smyrna to the brand-new SunTrust Park. Seating 41,500 on the traffic-challenged highways of the Peachtree City, the Braves hope to build a new community mixing baseball and community together all run by the team.
The Nats start a long 10-game road trip against their division rivals. At 7-5, Washington entered their off-day tied with the Miami Marlins for first in the National League East. Taking two-of-three over the holiday weekend from the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington hopes to gather momentum this week.
The bullpen issues, causing most fans to chew what remains of their fingernails, are front and center. Although the offense and starting pitching are in mid-season form, the dread of how to win games at the end remain. With the New York Mets looming, here is one more chance to put things in order.
Last year, the Nats thumped the Braves 15-4 in their season series. But, the Braves won the last two and feature a young, hungry team that gels together daily.
This year, the Braves are around .500 out of the gate. They signed Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey and Jamie Garcia to bolster their young rotation. Unlike certain teams from Washington, there is no debate in the closer. It is Jim Johnson. Under manager Brian Snitker, Atlanta features youth and Freddie Freeman.
All the pomp and circumstance is done. The two off days a week are gone. The grind begins for real. Here are five to watch this week in Hotlanta.