Oct 1, 2015, 3:42 PM EDT
ATLANTA — The forecast here tonight is lousy. It’s supposed to start raining sometime around first pitch, and once it starts it’s not supposed to stop. But they’ve apparently have sold 38,000 tickets to tonight’s game, not because 38,000 people are excited to watch the Nationals and Braves but because somebody named Sam Hunt is holding a postgame concert. (Sincere apologies to anyone I just offended by not knowing who this guy is.)
Anyways, if they’re somehow able to play, Stephen Strasburg will be on the mound for his final start of the season, trying to finish up a dominant second half with one last strong performance. After going 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA in his first 10 starts, Strasburg is 7-2 with a 1.89 ERA in his last 12 starts. Pretty remarkable.
Weather and possibly game updates to come…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field, Atlanta
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186/869
Weather: Rain, 66 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF
3B Anthony Rendon
2B Trea Turner
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
CF Michael Taylor
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LF Michael Bourn
CF Cameron Maybin
RF Nick Markakis
3B Adonis Garcia
1B Nick Swisher
2B Jace Peterson
SS Andrelton Simmons
C Christian Bethancourt
RHP Ryan Weber
HP Sam Holbrook
1B Marty Foster
2B Mike Muchlinski
3B Mark Wegner (cc)
7:10 p.m. — We are underway on time, though the rain began falling a few minutes ago and isn’t supposed to let up. We’ll see how this plays out.
7:23 p.m. — A scoreless first is in the books. The Nats went down in order, with Bryce Harper striking out looking at a breaking ball from Ryan Weber to end the top of the innings. Harper is now 3 for his last 27, his batting average holding at .331 but teetering. Stephen Strasburg, meanwhile, allowed a 1-out single to Cameron Maybin but then got Nick Markakis to ground into a double play to end an 11-pitch frame.
7:40 p.m. — The loss of Ryan Zimmerman to injuries should have been devastating to the Nats, but Clint Robinson has made that far less damaging than you would have thought. With an opposite-field, line-drive homer to left in the top of the second, Robinson gave the Nats a 1-0 lead. He’s going to wind up with about 350 plate appearances as a rookie, with a slash line of .271/.360/.410 and nine homers and 33 RBI. That ain’t shabby, not at all. 1-0 Nats after two.
7:57 p.m. — Strasburg hasn’t been quite as sharp tonight as he’s been lately, but he’s still been quite effective. Despite three hits and a walk surrendered, he has posted three zeroes to get this one started. He’s got three strikeouts and is sitting on 44 pitches, with the Nats still up 1-0 after three.
8:17 p.m. — Boy, Harper is struggling. He struck out swinging for the second time tonight and is now 3 for his last 28. The batting average is down to .330, though with Gordon also 0-for-2 and also down to .330, the batting crown still sits on Bryce’s head for now. Still 1-0 Nats after four.
8:38 p.m. — Five scoreless in the books for Strasburg. His pitch count is a bit high at 78, but he has looked quite impressive here tonight and appears to be finishing his season strong.
9:06 p.m. — Big sixth inning for Strasburg, who had to record a couple of strikeouts with men in scoring position to escape a jam. That will end his season on a very high note. Ten starts in, he was 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA. If the Nats can hold this 1-0 lead, he’ll finish 11-7 with a 3.46 ERA, 155 strikeouts and 26 walks. After all he went through, that’s a very good season in the end.
9:18 p.m. — Nice job by Blake Treinen to get through the seventh unscathed. He needed to get Freddie Freeman to fly out in order to do that and post another zero. It still remains 1-0 Nats heading to the eighth.
9:45 p.m. — Some insurance for the Nats in the top of the eighth, thanks to Adonis Garcia’s throwing error and thanks to Bryce Harper’s hustle. By busting it down the line on a potential inning-ending double play grounder, he drove in his 97th run and extended the Nats’ lead to 3-0. Felipe Rivero then retired the side in the bottom of the inning, sending this one to the ninth.
9:57 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 3-0. Strasburg (11-7) gets the win. Rivero gets his first career save with two scoreless innings. the Nats get their 81st win.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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