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Game 124: Braves at Nats

Aug 22, 2012, 7:29 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats go for a three-game sweep and an 8-game lead in the NL East.

If you go back only 2 1/2 months, back to June 3, and look at the NL East standings, you a total of 3 1/2 games separating the first-place Nationals and the last-place Phillies. At that moment, there was every reason to expect this race would be a dogfight straight through September, with no one club capable of running away with it.

Well, take a look at the standings entering tonight. The Mets, Phillies and Marlins all are at least 20 games out. The Braves are seven games back, desperately needing a win in tonight's series finale to avoid falling into an eight-game hole. Pretty remarkable.

Ross Detwiler gets the ball for the Nationals. Kris Medlen starts for the Braves. Chipper Jones makes his final appearance in D.C. (unless these two teams meet again in the postseason) and the Nats will honor the retiring third baseman in a pregame ceremony beginning at 6:40 p.m.

Updates to come…

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Scattered storms, 83 degrees, Wind 4 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (77-46)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

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208 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mick - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    One can argue that this was a must game for the Braves

  2. ehay2k - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Secret, the shutdown only impacts every 5th game starting sometime after the second week in September. We only need to win series, not every game. On the other hand, all the teams chasing us feel like they need to win every game.

  3. mick - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Nats 212… maybe your right. Zim's error played a role too

  4. mick - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Remember gang… Braves have some tough games coming up… they really could not afford to be 8 back going to SF

  5. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    2 oit of three, but a few things concerned meDet walks pitcher to extend inning on 4 pitches. That happens becuase one loses focus. Physical errors happen. Mental ones should never happen.Second thing. again men in scoring position and double plays. 2 this game.thrid. All three batters in the 9th swung at strike 3 (that would be balls if not swing.) That is before all star battingHarper isn't swinging at enough fast balls and at too many breaking balls.Gorzyllanny lives up to the nickname I told Big Cat I call him "White Flag." Once he is normally we have given up, and gives up more. Monday an exception (but then again we were not behind). I bet most of his runs fiven up have been in games we want him to maintain that we are behind in.

  7. Scooter - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    Mark Zuckerman said: 10:19 p.m. — That was a clown inning for the Nats.Perfect. Even my wife loved it.

  8. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Agreed that walking the pitcher was Not Good but you're usually not into the player name-calling, Swift. Chalk it up to the heat of the moment, I guess.I still say the 4 pitch, 2 out, walk to the pitcher to face Prado earns Ross the Home Depot Tool of the Game Award…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 69 4.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
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

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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.

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