May 3, 2013, 3:55 AM EDT
Dan Haren allowed just one run and four hits in eight stellar innings.
ATLANTA — As dominant and as efficient as he’d been all night, Dan Haren was showing some signs of fatigue in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday night. Despite having allowed only one run and four hits to the Braves, the veteran right-hander was suddenly in a spot where one bad pitch could result in a game-tying homer.
So as Davey Johnson made the slow walk from the Nationals’ dugout to the mound, Haren (like everyone else at Turner Field) knew what was next.
“He was gonna take the ball from me,” the right-hander said.
Not so fast. Johnson’s intention may have been to signal for Drew Storen out of the bullpen, but first he needed the answer to one question.
“Heck of a ballgame. How you feeling?” Johnson asked.
“I feel great,” Haren replied.
“Good,” Johnson fired back. “I’m out of here.”
Having just been given a resounding vote of confidence, Haren promptly rewarded his manager for the decision. He struck out Chris Johnson to end the eighth and pumped his fist as he skipped off the mound, having laid the groundwork for a 3-1 victory, the Nationals’ second straight over a Braves club that had looked unbeatable to that point.
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Sunday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games
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
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. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Report: Braves likely to make 'significant' changes this winter
- LaRoche: Nats unlikely to bring me back in '15
- PHOTO: Nats get hero's welcome at Dulles on Sunday night
- As October looms, Strasburg and Nats are peaking
- Strasburg solves struggles in Miami, Nats win 2-1
- Barrett's role expanding with September surge
- Strasburg starts, but several regulars sit today
- As Nats hold breath, Zimmerman passes test
- Nationals win in Zimmerman's return
- Zimmerman begins race to get ready for October