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Game 27: Nats at Braves

Apr 30, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez faces Tim Hudson tonight at Turner Field.

ATLANTA — No matter the status of Stephen Strasburg's right arm, the Nationals could really use a win tonight against the Braves, who have now beaten their NL East rivals eight consecutive times dating back to last season. So a quality start by Gio Gonzalez, not to mention some clutch hitting against Tim Hudson, would help the cause.

Gonzalez is coming off a stellar outing against the Reds, one in which he allowed only one hit over eight innings (Joey Votto's homer). The lefty's record against Atlanta isn't anything to get excited about: 2-3, 6.08 ERA in five starts over the last two seasons. Hudson, on the other hand, has owned the Nationals franchise over the years (15-5, 2.60 ERA in 27 starts) though they did beat the veteran right-hander twice last season. He's in search of his 200th career win.

Jayson Werth is not in the Nats' lineup after dealing with both a hamstring and ankle issue last night. Bryce Harper will slide over to his spot in right field, with Tyler Moore in left field. Wilson Ramos, meanwhile, is catching for the first time since going on the DL with a hamstring strain.

Updates to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 6 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (13-13)
CF Denard Span
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
1B Adam LaRoche

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241 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Espi still hasn't learned. 1st pitch swinging at trash. Then 2nd pitch swing and miss. 3rd pitch swing and miss.Wow!

  2. Exposremains - May 1, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    1-2-3 ESpiK

  3. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Well, was a little off on espi

  4. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… Who are these hot players you speak of! LOL now. There is not one hot player on this team right now. Harper has even cooled off. April 30, 2013 8:51 PM ______________________________Bryce is trying to carry the team on his back.

  5. Exposremains - May 1, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Team needs to make changes get Duke out of there. He pitches well in AAA, a few good games in sept and suddenly he's a fixture in bullpen. Get Romero. Hrod can go too. Espi needs the bench or AAA. Rizzo and DJ are very stubborn so they will ride this for a while.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Why fire McCatty? The Pitchers are not prepared for inning 1. So whatever the routine is, it isnt worth a damn.Now even Harper is fading.

  7. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    a little on harper too.Maybe meant to say back to back to back Ks

  8. Exposremains - May 1, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    The Crapitude will eventually affect Harper. He's gonna try to do too much.

  9. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Why can't Mr. Zuckerman fix the blog so it doesn't start over at 200. It is very annoying to have to scroll through 200 entries since the page doesn't update automatically.Turn off MASN and go to ESPN and watch Bryce Begins.

  10. Exposremains - May 1, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    I better not hear: We like our team the way it is crap, we're better than this, they're hot and were not and all that other loser talk

  11. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Go to the wash post blog…comments are automagically posted and you can read the latest from Poopy McPoop.

  12. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    ALR got a meatball on a 3-1 pitch and he gave it a ride but just not far enough. I'm hoping that's a good sign but LaRoche has a .216 OBP That is hard to believe and he is hurting the team badly.

  13. Steamer - May 1, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Get tired of watching the game Bryce Begins is on ESPN now

  14. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Highlight! Ian Desmond!

  15. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Really FP, Davey will play the hot hand? Really?

  16. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    So at the end of the day, has Rizzo's trades and free agent signings positioned Nats better or worse for 2013 and 2014…the harper/stras era.I think his draft signings have been outstanding.1. Signing Werth….Negative…could have used the money better2. Trading for Ramos…big plus3. Picking up Clippard…plus4. Trading willingham for HROD/and that OFer…negative…could have gotton more5. The Gio trade….positive in my humble opinion but will listen to reasonable argument6. Getting Suzuki…good move.6. Letting go of the Beast…Wish we could have taken him on..negative7. D. Span…I liked it8. signing ALR…why not…doesn't hurt…good d.So overall, I am happy with Rizzo esp his eye for young talent.

  17. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Chad Tracy hitting .167….

  18. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Maybe the ump can just hand the rest of the game to Hudson. Call it clean. He doesn't need extra inches.

  19. Secret wasian man - May 1, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    I am bored with this team and just completely disinterested. The season is over. Yes its over. This team cant even compete with the Braves. Nats 4th in AL east this year. And I am truly disgusted with our announcers. They sugarcoat everything.

  20. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    jeez…that's better than 1/2 the starting lineup,Mr. former Supreme Court Justice

  21. Dan Strong - May 1, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Nice… lead off triple and three straight outs… Really? You can't make a productive out at least? That sums up everything wrong with this team.

  22. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Secret wasian man said… I am bored with this team and just completely disinterested. The season is over. Yes its over. This team cant even compete with the Braves. Nats 4th in AL east this year. And I am truly disgusted with our announcers. They sugarcoat everything._________________________________Why are you telling everyone, just leave gracefully and don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on your way out.

  23. Daylos - May 1, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    So the entire season is over after 27 games? Do you have any idea how stupid that sounds?

  24. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    Why was Sean Burnett not re-signed? Maybe he had an incipient injury? Otherwise, he should have been signed. The Werth and Ryan Zimmerman deals are not looking real good at the moment, but we may all feel different in August.

  25. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Secret Asian Man, well you're giving up on the Nats, and I just don't understand.(too the tune of secret agent man)

  26. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Yep…one can argue the Zimmerman signing too.I think Burnett is hurt again.

  27. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    jeffwx said… Yep…one can argue the Zimmerman signing too.___________________________Zimmerman and his camp worked Rizzo and the ownership at the right time. They had very little choice. They paid a lot of money for a player who just can't play full seasons and a lot of that money is masked as future earnings for his personal services contract that doesn't show in the deal.

  28. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    I don't think Rizzo or anyone could expect La Roche, Werth and Zimmerman to all essentially take the entire month of April off. You might have gotten away with that with Morse in the line-up as well, but with Span taking his place, you basically end up with one power hitter in the entire line-up. We are lucky to be 13-14 based on run differential.That being said, the Nats have had a month of terrible luck, as well as poor play. The Babip cannot continue this bad for us, on both sides of the plate.

  29. Rabbit34 - May 1, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Looks like everyone is coming around to my conclusion, back to early last year. We need bats. I had said it bewildered me how a team with these bats could win 98 games. Yes, most of last year was luck. This year they are losing on the talent they have. Feel bad for Harper, the best player in baseball. Wow, is this team BORING! BORING! There, I've said it again. BORING!

  30. Secret wasian man - May 1, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    I'm not giving up guys. Just frustrated. Where is our beloved Nats though? Just frustrated.

  31. Secret wasian man - May 1, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Hopefully Zimm can return and lite a spark.

  32. Gonat - May 1, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Secret, let's see how RZ does when he comes back and let's hope they put Lombo in as the every day 2nd baseman and work TyMo in a platoon at 1st.

  33. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    What does that mean about Ryan and personal services?If he can't play, does he become an indentured servant of the ballclub?I like Ryan personally, but at some point, you have to play the game and play it well. There have been tons of "great" players who have faded away without accomplishing much due to injuries. In my mind, Zimmerman has not accomplished much based upon his supposed talent levels. He failed to win the ROY. He has one Gold Glove and one appearance in the play-offs. He has no seasons of 40 homers or more, and not many of 35 homers or more. Whatever it is that allows some guys like Mickey Mantle, say, who seemed to perform at incredible levels with injuries all over his entire body, seems not to be present in Ryan Zimmerman.

  34. Secret wasian man - May 1, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Careful being negative Rabbit. These folks don't like that.

  35. DJB - May 1, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    The Zimmerman contract is the biggest problem this team faces, and is an example why this is a losing franchise. Always base contracts on projectible performance, and never sign long-term deals with injured players. Zimmerman will probably never play a whole season. The Cards let Pujols walk and will be able to sign their young arms, which of course are better than our young arms. We can't trade Zimmerman, as we should, and he is going to drag this team down with him.

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Went on an erand and left the car as Desi tripled and told my wife the way people are hitting he wont score.

  37. ehay2k - May 1, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    That's the way Secret! We're not giving up, though we all know things must improve. But it's not the big things – Odalis Perez as our ace, Paul Lo Duca at the dish, etc – it's the little things that are killing us. And those are by far the easier to fix.However, I am done with Eckstein – he was supposed to turn Ankiel, his star student, into a hitter. Not so much. Desi and Espi have a lot more ability and Eck has not made them any better. Any improvement they have seen is due solely to Davey. Bottom line, this is too talented a club to be so lost at the plate. And Mark Z, please leave the snark to us, ok? ;-)

  38. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    The Zimmerman contract could have been all right if there had been open communications about what was going on.Apparently, the Nats had no idea that Zimmerman would be hurt going into this season. If we had known that Ryan was unable to throw anymore, we could have kept Morse, let ALR go and move Zimmerman to 1st with Rendon at 3rd.Now, because of lack of communication, we are stuck and there may not be anyway to fix this without benching either Werth, Zimmerman or ALR. We need hitting but we simply cannot let Zimmerman go out there and sling the ball to and fro.

  39. jeffwx - May 1, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    I agree with Gonat on this one…you are building a fan base and needed to pay Zimm. He's still a great hitter, esp in the clutch.

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Really, Ryan Zimmerman is a great clutch hitter?Hmm. Most sabermetrics guys claim that there is no such thing as clutch hitting. Good to know. I guess I forgot about all of his clutch homers in the NLDS last year.Seriously, Ryan Zimmerman has never been in a clutch situation–which I don't believe in anyway–until last year.There weren't a lot of clutch opportunities in those back to back 59 win years that he led us to with his clutch play….

  41. Joe Seamhead - May 1, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Too much football fan mentality in here.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 70 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 67 10.0
NEW YORK 62 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
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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