Atlanta Braves Fall Again to the Nationals


In a strange turn of events, the Atlanta Braves hosted the Washington Nationals for the final game of a three game series on Wednesday evening. I assumed that after losing Tuesday night, thanks to a Dan Uggla three-run homer, they would have elected to cancel the rest of the season. But, that is not the case as we charge forward into the darkness.

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Alex Wood took the hill and was tasked with erasing the memory of the aforementioned collapse. After retiring the Nationals in order in the 1st inning, his teammates decided to provide him some early run support. Nick Markakis continued to be a reliable, on-base machine, leading off the game with a single. What else is new?

After an Andrelton Simmons fly-out, Freddie Freeman ripped a double to the right-field wall, putting runners on second and third. With one out A.J. Pierzynski would score them both with a single into centerfield. The single also extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Atlanta held a 2-0 lead after one full inning of play.

However, those pesky Nats would not go quietly into the night. In the top of the 2nd inning, Wilson Ramos sent a rolling single up the middle, plating Bryce Harper and cutting the Braves’ lead to 2-1.

Freddie Freeman would grab that run right back in the bottom of the 3rd. His opposite field single scored Andrelton Simmons to put the Braves ahead 3-1. Special shout-out to Dan Uggla for bouncing the throw to first on what should have been an inning ending double-play ball. Instead of ending the inning, Simmons wound up on second base and Atlanta eventually scored a run. Thanks, Dan! You owed them one.

Washington would once again answer in the top of the 4th inning. Bryce Harper recorded his second hit of the night on a rocket of a double off the rightfield wall. Ryan Zimmerman’s single in the very the next at-bat brought Harper home and the Atlanta lead was again trimmed to a single run at 3-2.

You’re not going to enjoy what happened next. After a single from Danny Espinosa and a walk to Dan Uggla, Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman came to the plate with the bases loaded. Zimmerman worked a 3-2 count before depositing a double into the gap in leftfield, scoring three runs and giving the Nats a 5-3 lead. Time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve done or will ever do, we’re going to do over and over and over again. Sorry, I was channeling Rust Cohle for a moment. Now back to baseball.

The Braves would cut the Washington lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the 5th, Eric Young Jr. scored on a Nick Markakis double play. Wood’s high pitch count meant he was done after five innings. Wood allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and struck out 8 batters. Not his finest outing.

Trevor Cahill came in to relieve Wood in the top of the 6th inning. Cahill allowed a pair of singles in the inning and a run would score on a Dan Uggla fielder’s choice. In the 7th Denard Span led off the inning with a double off of Cahill, eventually scoring on a Jayson Werth single through a drawn in infield. Later in the frame a single from Danny Espinosa would send home two more runs. The score held at 9-4 Nationals as the fans stretched in the middle of the 7th.

Cahill pitched 2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, raising his ERA to 9.42 with Atlanta. The fact that Cahill came in to relieve Wood is obviously big news, and not just because of his poor performance. This naturally leads one to believe that Matt Wisler or Mike Foltynewicz could be called on to start Friday night’s game (probably Folty). Stay tuned for that.

After a four run 8th inning for Washington, that included a three run homer from Denard Span, the Nats would go on to win 13-4. An unpleasant evening was had by all. Well, except the Nationals.

The Braves collected 8 hits altogether, with Markakis and Freeman each going 2-for-4. After Cahill and Wood allowed 9 combined runs, Michael Kohn pitched a scoreless 7th inning while John Cornely allowed 4 runs in the 8th inning to finish out the game.

For the Nats Bryce Harper did some serious damage. The youngster went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. He also scored 3 runs and drew a walk. Wilson Ramos had three singles and Danny Espinosa whacked four of them. The Nationals pounded out 15 hits over the course of the game with every starter but Ian Desmond getting at least one.

Don’t fret, Atlanta fans. The Hawks won, and tomorrow is another day. The Braves hit the field again Thursday night to begin a four game series with the Cincinnati Reds. Shelby Miller will be taking on Reds right-hander Mike Leake.

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