Apr 29, 2013, 7:33 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats open a four-game series at Turner Field tonight.
ATLANTA — Only a couple of days ago, the Nationals looked at this week's trip to Atlanta potentially as a make-or-break early series against their division rivals, who held a 5-game lead and looked unstoppable. How quickly things change. All of a sudden, it's the Nats who feel good about themselves (after taking three of four from the Reds over the weekend) and the Braves who are in panic-mode (having lost seven of 10 and seen their NL East lead dwindle to 2 1/2 games).
This does still remain an important series for the Nationals, who certainly want to avenge their earlier sweep at the hands of the Braves in D.C. And it's an important start tonight for Stephen Strasburg, who is mired in a four-game losing streak for the first time in his career even though he's pitched fairly well during that stretch.
As expected, Wilson Ramos has been activated off the 15-day disabled list, with Jhonatan Solano optioned back to Class AAA Syracuse. Ramos, though, is surprisingly not in the lineup tonight. Kurt Suzuki will be behind the plate working with Strasburg. Anthony Rendon also has the night off, with Chad Tracy starting at third base against Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran.
Updates to come…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, ESPN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF
CF Denard Span
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth
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.
- Bryce Harper benched in Nats' loss to Cardinals for 'lack of hustle'
- Anthony Rendon error costs Nationals in loss to Cardinals
- Nats activate Denard Span from 7-day DL, option Steven Souza, Jr.
- Zimmermann, Nats look for two in a row vs. Cardinals
- Drew Storen comes through in Nats' 3-1 win over Cardinals
- Nationals respond to Williams' challenge, beat Cards
- Nats strike early on Wacha, beat Cardinals 3-1
- Span to join Nats on Saturday after second rehab game
- Ramos takes first swings since breaking left hand
- Denard Span on track to return to Nats this weekend