Washington Nationals: Storylines for last call in Atlanta

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Ryan Zimmerman /
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From Ozzie Albies to Luiz Gohara, the Braves have a ton of young talent itching to show their front office and the rest of the NL East what they can do.

Players adore manager Brian Snitker and, despite their record, want to impress as much as possible over these last two weeks. Yes, it is bad news for the Nats hoping to rest up for the tough month ahead.

Solid seasons from Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp anchor a lineup full of fresh-faced prospects. Dansby Swanson is a more mature player. Johan Carmago has base running smarts. As we saw last week, they play prepared regardless of the conditions.

In a sense that is good for Washington. If they run regular lineups out there, Atlanta will play straight up. Even if it is a mix of kids and bench, the Braves will treat these games like July. No rest for the weary Nats.

On the other hand, the Braves bullpen is ready for the offseason. Jim Johnson’s ERA ballooned to 5.81. Ian Krol’s is 5.55. Arodys Vizcaino is now the closer.

Atlanta’s starters are inconsistent, but the Nats can make any rotation look like a collection of Cy Young Award winners when the bats are cold. They were in a deep freeze until Sunday.

Gohara had legitimate stuff on display last Tuesday in his second career major-league start. He pitches Tuesday. R.A. Dickey’s knuckler still dances but, predicting success equals herding cats. It happens by accident.

Lucas Sims goes Wednesday, but his overall numbers are poor. The perfect time to stymie Washington.

Although the Nats are in better shape than the last series, Atlanta remains dangerous.