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Game 123: Nats at Braves

Aug 18, 2013, 12:14 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

ATLANTA โ€” Oh, hello there. Long time, no speak. Only a few hours after departing Turner Field after their 15-inning victory over the Braves, the Nationals are right back here for the series finale. There were plenty of people drinking coffee in the clubhouse this morning, starting with the media. But everyone seemed to be in good spirits, and pretty much everybody was feeling well enough to play today.

In fact, Davey Johnson has six of his eight regulars in the lineup, with only Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos (who caught all 15 innings last night) getting the day off. Both Bryce Harper (bruised left triceps) and Jayson Werth (stiff back) are playing despite nagging injuries. The Braves, on the other hand, only have three regulars in their lineup: Freddie Freeman, Chris Johnson and B.J. Upton (though Upton hadn't started either of the first two games of the series).

The obvious key to today's game: Getting as many innings as possible out of the two starters. So the pressure is on Gio Gonzalez and Julio Teheran to come up big. The pressure is also on Mother Nature to hold off on the heavy rain until at least five innings are played and this game is official. Could be dicey.

Updates to come…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 185
Weather: Rain, 68 degrees, Wind 5 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (60-62)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth

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256 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Depot Master - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I don't understand sending the runner. At the very least, can't you keep a pickle going until Harper has a chance to score once the throw has been made? But regardless, if you don't send Werth, You have 2 outs and first and third. Guess they are trusting Laroche, who has struck out aplenty lately, to make contact?

  2. 3on2out - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Yeah. LaRoche sucks. He hasn't hit a game winning home run for more than 15 hours.

  3. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Werth does have great hair. Lucky bast'rd

  4. anydream - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    If I were the manager we'd have Lombo as the everyday 2B and Moore as the everyday LF throughout the rest of the season. Slide Harper to CF, Zim to 1B, Rendon to 3B and let "Slappy" and "LaChoke" ride the pine the rest of the year. They can be used as situational players.

  5. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Schafer looked like he was out to me…

  6. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Haren has good hair.

  7. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    I have no problem with steal call. Werth did not get a good jump. More important ALR had to hit the ball. He didn't do his job which messes up all strategiesPlayers have to execute or no plan is good.

  8. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Out!!

  9. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    I had to send mine outside

  10. Depot Master - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    3on2out, no one is saying Laroche sucks, only that he has struck out lately and can't necessarily be trusted as much as, say, someone like Polanco or Werth might be in those cases.

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Send in your suggestion

  12. anydream - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Haren might have decent hair but I wouldn't say he has 8 figure hair. Werth is the kind of guy with 10 figure hair.

  13. Depot Master - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    MNF – That's exactly my point. Part of a good game plan is knowing what your players have a likelihood of being able to execute.

  14. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Moore to first

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Oh Suzuki. On the base you got him.

  16. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Are you serious right now….. He was out… Again!

  17. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    One thing Rizzo must do in tge off season. Find a solid bullpen corps. We half of one.Find a pitching coach that can stop the running.Almost none of our pitchers have a clue how to stop the running game.

  18. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Ok. I need a bourbon now.

  19. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Gio is pitching a heck of a game. Get this man some RUNS!!!

  20. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Whew…. Thanks for the DP… Come on guys… Lets do this!

  21. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Good decision by Rendon.

  22. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Woot! Bitches! (Ala breaking bad style)

  23. paul brandt - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    see how easy it is to screw up an inning, Barves, am glad you have been watching us today…4-6-3.love, the Nats.

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    I wish somone would cure first inning unpreparedness.

  25. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    NL – I was just about to say, we labor with our pitchers and it doesn't always look pretty but in today's case, Gio has some his job….

  26. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    LOL, the Phillies walked off on an error by Hanley Ramirez. Papelbum still doesn't have a save–but he did get the win.

  27. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    LaRoche hitting agaibst a righty should hit the ball.with a lefty I dont call it.

  28. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Wow! That was ugly, Desi.

  29. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    That slider was never in tge strike zone, so clueless why Desi would swing at that. Had it started in thecstrike zone I wouldnt be happy, but not surprised.

  30. paul brandt - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    It's just maddening to watch this offense.

  31. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Suzuki hits the ball the wrong distance. He it hard, but either to far to have it drop in or to short to go over their head.

  32. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    All right, Drew. Keep it 2-1. Maybe Kimbrel is tired, his third day in a row.

  33. ExposedinDC - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    It's over….

  34. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Ughh. Ill be glad to just watch these games and relax knowing we are eliminated. I still think I can will this team to win….sucks the energy from ya! Heh

  35. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Oh my, Kimbrel for the 9th. Gonna start the grill.

  36. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Great inning for Drew!

  37. phil dunton - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Kimbrel has the body stance of an ape when he looks in to the catcher for the pitch sign.

  38. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. anydream - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    People have been saying all season that Span is a fast guy but I remember seeing him in the first game of this season and thinking "that guy really doesn't look speedy".

  40. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    I love Rendon, but that was awful.

  41. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    That pick off wasnt close…

  42. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Wow….. That was a swing?!?!?!?!?!!!?

  43. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    When is he going to learn to not even about swunging at breaking balls.

  44. paul brandt - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    not a chance he went but that pretty much sums up the year.

  45. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Doesn't make any difference, but that was a crap call by Hudson.

  46. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Atlanta native Mark Hudson with the call. Hudson is biased towards his hometown team.Why MLB lets him umpire almost every single Atlanta game, I will never know.

  47. Scott Margenau - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Bad call. Can't end game like that blue!

  48. phil dunton - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Kimbrel….everything in a closer that Soriano isn't!

  49. paul brandt - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    WODL, good poinnt. Everyone wants to see that match-up, you don't ring him up on a check swing, that was garbage.

  50. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Kimbrel is excellent, would Soriano pay attenrion? Dont let the batters hit the ball. Not rocket science.

  51. paul brandt - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    next time have Gio start in the 2nd inning.

  52. anydream - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Good game guys. Werth can go comb his hair and Hudson can hit the union buffet line.They really take care of you when you're union, trust me.

  53. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Actual a clever plan Storen pitch the first Gio from then on.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Nats had the chances. Plenty of them. None bigger than LaRoche's at-bat after Werth's RBI single.

  55. SonnyG10 - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Oh, well. Close game. Too bad it was against their backups.

  56. anydream - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Hudson is stuffing his face right now. He clearly couldn't wait another minute to go enjoy his meal. I have been inspired by him.I am going to go for a run.If I am Jayson Werth I am spending the rest of my day combing my hair, checking my bank account on my smartphone, and admiring my stats on ESPN.com.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 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

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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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