Aug 17, 2010, 8:25 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Scott Olsen faces rookie Mike Minor tonight at Turner Field.
While the Nationals' front office (and media corps) was hunkered down at Nationals Park last night into the wee hours for the Bryce Harper deadline, the actual big-league squad was already comfortably settled into its hotel in Atlanta. I'm sure those guys were interested to find out whether Harper signed or not, but I'm also pretty sure they weren't glued to their laptops at midnight in anticipation of the answer.
Many of the current Nationals won't be around by the time Harper makes his big-league debut, so they're more interested in what's happening right now, which is the start of a tough, six-game road trip through Atlanta and Philadelphia. These are the top two teams in the NL East, and until the Nats prove they can hold their own against them, they won't take that key step up and become a division contender.
Scott Olsen starts tonight, hoping to bounce back after two ragged outings against the Diamondbacks and Marlins. He faced the Braves once earlier this season, and it was a good one: On May 6, Olsen carried a no-hitter into the eighth against Atlanta.
He'll be opposed tonight by rookie left-hander Mike Minor, the seventh-overall pick of last summer's draft (six spots behind Stephen Strasburg, three spots ahead of Drew Storen). Minor made his big-league debut last week against the Astros and allowed three earned runs over six innings.
Josh Willingham is not in the lineup tonight; Kevin Mench will get his first start in left field. Mench's time, though, could be running out. Nyjer Morgan is with Harrisburg tonight for his third rehab game, and he's expected to come off the DL tomorrow, which means someone has to come off the roster.
I'm not in Atlanta for this series, but I will be in Philadelphia this weekend. Enjoy the game tonight and please continue to chat with each other!…
NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 84 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to LF.
2B Alberto Gonzalez
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Sunday's early games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 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: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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