Apr 13, 2013, 2:36 AM EST
USA Today Sports Images
Evan Gattis and Craig Kimbrel celebrate the Braves' come-from-behind win.
Game in a nutshell: The first of 19 showdowns between the top two teams in the NL East was a dandy, a well-played affair with plenty of big moments, some tense moments late and then ultimately disaster for the Nationals. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings, thanks to another homer from Bryce Harper and RBI singles by Denard Span and Jayson Werth. Ross Detwiler then settled in carving up the Braves lineup for seven innings using hardly anything but his fastball. Up three runs late, Davey Johnson entrusted the final six outs to Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen (with Rafael Soriano unavailable after pitching three straight nights). Clippard got himself into serious trouble in the eighth, walking B.J. Upton with the bases loaded. That forced Johnson to summon Storen in the eighth and ask his fill-in closer to record four outs. Storen nearly came through, but couldn't finish it off. He walked Jason Heyward to load the bases with two outs, then got Justin Upton to hit a sharp bouncer down the third-base line. Ryan Zimmerman didn't really have a play, but he tried to throw to second base anyways and wound up heaving the ball into right field to allow the tying run to score. The game went into extra innings, at which point Craig Stammen served up a two-run homer to Ramiro Pena, giving Atlanta five runs in three innings off the Nationals bullpen. Craig Kimbrel closed it out in the bottom of the 10th, sending the Nationals to a defeat that won't easily be shaken off.
Hitting highlight: It seems like we're running out of superlatives to describe Harper. But every night, the kid does something thatRead more »
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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)...
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