Aug 3, 2011, 10:57 PM EDT
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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
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