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Game 136: Braves at Nats

Sep 6, 2015, 12:13 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

With a huge series against the Mets awaiting them on Monday, the Nationals enter Sunday with a chance to secure a four-game sweep against the Atlanta Braves and make it five straight wins overall. The Nats are playing some of their best baseball of the 2015 season and they will hope to keep it rolling before they face New York.

Rookie Joe Ross (5-5, 3.50) will take the mound in his 13th career start. He’s hoping to bounce back from an ugly outing in St. Louis when he walked six batters in just 2 2/3 innings of work. This is his first matchup against the Braves.

Starting for Atlanta will be lefty Manny Banuelos (1-3, 3.33). He also lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his last outing, a 7-1 Braves loss to the Marlins.

The Nats lineup originally had Ryan Zimmerman in at first, but he was a late scratch. Tyler Moore replaced him in the field with Yunel Escobar moving to the cleanup spot.

Stay tuned for updates…

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185/841
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (70-65)
LF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
1B Tyler Moore
RHP Joe Ross

BRAVES (54-82)
RF Nick Markakis
2B Jace Peterson
3B Hector Olivera
1B Freddie Freeman
C A.J. Pierzynski
LF Nick Swisher
3B Adonis Garcia
SS Andrelton Simmons
CF Michael Bourn
LHP Manny Banuelos

UMPIRES
HP Andy Fletcher
1B Clint Fagan
2B Paul Emmel
3B Jerry Meals (cc)

1:35 p.m. — And we are underway on a beautiful afternoon at Nationals Park…

1:57 p.m. — The Nationals find themselves down a run early in this one as the Braves got to Ross in the first inning. Markakis led off with a double over Taylor’s head in center field and later scored on a single to right field by Swisher. It’s 1-0 Atlanta.

2:24 p.m. — Another game, another big lead for the Nats. The Nationals are now up 5-1 after two innings thanks to a two-RBI double by Taylor and a three-run homer by Werth, his seventh of the season. Taylor smacked his double to the left field corner and scored Escobar and Desmond. Werth then roped his homer to left field to score Taylor and Ross, who was hit in the side by a pitch from Banuelos. Ross will go back out there for the third inning with a four-run lead to work with.

2:46 p.m. — Make it 7-1, Nats. Harper led off with his 34th homer of the season, a moonshot to left-center field. Their second run came with one out when Moore hit a groundball to Garcia at third base with the bases loaded. Garcia couldn’t corral it and was charged with an error as Escobar charged home. On to the fourth as Ross now has a six-run lead to work with.

3:09 p.m. — I hope you like homers, because the Nats added another one in the fourth inning. Rendon smacked his fourth of the season to left field. That made it an 8-2 game after the Braves notched a second run in the fourth on an infield single by Bourn.

3:37 p.m. — The Braves pushed two more runs across to make it 8-4, Nats. They got their runs on a single by Pierzynski and a sac fly by Swisher. Both runs were charged to Ross, though they came against Sammy Solis who entered with one out and two men on.

3:56 p.m. — The game remains at 8-4 after six innings. Casey Janssen and Felipe Rivero combined to pitch a scoreless sixth inning, though Bourn made it to second after reaching on a passed ball. Rivero will stay out there to pitch the seventh.

4:15 p.m. — We’re still locked at 8-4 as Drew Storen will now come in to pitch the eighth.

  1. Doc - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    MW has done this many/most times this year. But why Eunie in #4 behind Harps? Shouldn’t Harper be behind Escobar to drive him in.?

    • philipd763 - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:05 PM

      Because neither Zimmerman or Robinson are in the lineup to protect Harper so Escobar is the next best option.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    GYFNG!

  3. philipd763 - Sep 6, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    If I recall correctly, Ramos used to be a decent defensive catcher. This season he can’t even catch a ball thrown from the outfield. He has also made several bad throws on passed balls when there’s a play at the plate. Beyond that, his offense has deteriorated.

    • letswin3 - Sep 6, 2015 at 6:23 PM

      I’ve commented on his inability to field throws from the outfield several times over the last 3 seasons, including this one. Other commenters here wanted to defend him by suggesting that throws should be in the air … my response has always been that outfielders are trained from a young age to throw a one-hopper, but Wilson doesn’t seem to catch many of any variety. The Nat’s need to look to upgrade at catcher in the next offseason.

      • natsguy - Sep 6, 2015 at 8:18 PM

        Ramos is also a lousy pitch caller, bad framer, and has trouble blocking low pitches. There is a reason why Gonzalez pretty much has Lobaton as his personal catcher. Strasburg apparently also prefers Lobaton.

      • Joe Seamhead - Sep 6, 2015 at 8:58 PM

        I got accused of making stuff up when I said that outfielders are trained to bring throws in on one hop. It goes that way all the way up to the highest level. And again, I’m not saying that the throw should never come straight in, but that is the exception.

  4. philipd763 - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Too bad Joe Ross can’t hit like his brother, Tiyson Ross.

    • Section 222 - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      A HBP to keep the line moving worked just fine.

      • philipd763 - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:28 PM

        Ross was not happy about the HBP.

  5. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    This is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  6. Drew - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    11 to reach 100 at 22.

    A devilish 666 from Henry Aaron.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:38 PM

      You suggesting he’s beastly?

  7. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    I would feel sorry for the Braves except they’re, well, the Braves.

    • ArVAFan - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:49 PM

      +1 on that.

      I could do without any tomahawk chops at Nats Park, thank you. I thought we were going to get through the series without hearing any, but we did hear a couple last night when they scored their two runs.

    • Section 222 - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:02 PM

      Exactly. They’re a shell of the team we hated though. No McCann, no Chipper. But they still have the chop (though haven’t heard it all weekend, thank goodness), and the “A” in Turner Field. So I’ll hate them for awhile more.

  8. Drew - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    Fish beat the Mets!

    Prado fouled off six 3-2 pitches from Clip before knocking in the winning run.

    • Section 222 - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:37 PM

      That wasa professional AB for sure! Clip gave up his first two runs ever at Marlins Park. Couldn’t have come at a better time.

      • legnatsfan - Sep 6, 2015 at 6:14 PM

        It felt really weird to root against Clip.

  9. fpa4356 - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    we are so lucky to be witnesses to the play of Bryce Harper, and his teammates. The Nats are going to catch and pass the Mets, one game at a time, which was implicit in every comment they’ve made about their second half of the season.

  10. fpa4356 - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    Papelbon is still a stud. Of course it is a mistake to take anything for granted, but so far he’s been prceisely what was needed.

  11. Nats Fan Zee - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    And then there were FOUR!

    • ArVAFan - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:48 PM

      +4! or maybe that should be a -4?

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