Aug 3, 2011, 10:57 PM EDT
US Presswire photo
Chien-Ming Wang fell to 0-2 in two starts since coming off the DL.
Digging yourself into a six-run hole and hoping to climb out of it against arguably the best bullpen in the majors? Not exactly a blueprint for success.
Yet here the Nationals stood in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday afternoon, having overcome Chien-Ming Wang’s shaky start and a hefty deficit to the Braves to put themselves in position to come all the way back.
And then Mother Nature, along with three Atlanta relievers named Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel, combined forces to stop the Nationals dead in their tracks and ultimately walk away with a 6-4 loss.
Had they somehow pulled this one out and completed a three-game sweep of the NL wild-card leaders, the Nationals would have departed town for a 10-game road trip with spirits soaring. As it was, they still head to Colorado playing much better baseball, with a lineup that’s finally running on most cylinders and a reconfigured bullpen that is recapturing its early season form.
“I mean, we won two out of three the last two series, and that’s all you can ask,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “That’s our goal every time: to win the series. A sweep is a bonus. Obviously, you’d
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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.
Follow us on Twitter
- 5 questions facing the Nationals in the postseason
- Nats finding ways to stay sharp (VIDEO)
- Games 1 and 2 at Nationals Park will be matinees
- Revisiting Opening Day predictions on the Nats
- Zimmermann named NL Player of the Week for 2nd time this year
- Nats' plan to stay fresh before Game 1 of the NLDS
- Denard Span sets Nats hits record to add to special day
- Zimmermann earns no-hitter through team effort (VIDEO)
- Perfect storm for Zimmermann to make magic
- Nats' Ramos shares moment in Zimmermann's no-hitter