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Game 4: Nationals vs. Braves

Apr 4, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman Photo by Mark Zuckerman

After sweeping the New York Mets to begin the 2014 season, things are about to heat up here in Washington for the Nationals. The Atlanta Braves are in town for the first installment of what should be a season-long battle for the National League East division title.

Last season the Braves took 13 of the teams’ 19 meetings and won the division with a 96-66 record. Atlanta was 12-1 in their first 13 games overall and never looked back after their hot start. The Nationals have won each of their first three games and can build an early lead in this year’s division race.

Today Jordan Zimmermann will be back on the mound after missing Thursday’s start with flu-like symptoms. Here is our pregame story for more on that.

Zimmermann has a good history against the Braves. He’s 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA in seven starts against them, and last year gave up just two earned runs in two starts (1.50 ERA).

The forecast is looking a little cloudy, but no rain is expected. Should be a great day for baseball in the Nation’s Capital.

Updates to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where:
 Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 9, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, 1580 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Cloudy, 57 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

BRAVES
RF Jason Heyward
CF B.J. Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
3B Chris Johnson
LF Justin Upton
2B Dan Uggla
C Evan Gattis
SS Andrelton Simmons
RHP David Hale

1:15 p.m. — Well, that was quick. Zimmermann retired the Braves 1-2-3 in the first, showing no signs of the flu-like symptoms that kept him out of yesterday’s game. Heyward flew out to left field, Upton struck out swinging (surprise), and Freeman popped out to Desmond. Zimmermann needed only 10 pitches, seven of them strikes.

1:24 p.m. — The Nats got one  man on thanks to a Werth single to right-center with two outs, but LaRoche struck out swinging to end the inning. We’re still scoreless with the second inning up next. Hale threw 10 pitches with nine of them strikes.

1:32 p.m. — Uggla got a single off Zimmermann who is otherwise off to a very good start. He’s thrown 23 pitches (17 strikes) through two and has three strikeouts. In the top of the seventh he got Justin Upton out swinging on a 95 mph heater right down the middle.

1:42 p.m. — Two more hits for the Nationals, but no runs in the bottom of the second. Harper reached base on a one-out single and Desmond later singled after Harper was caught stealing second. Hale is looking good so far with 25 pitches, 19 of them strikes.

1:55 p.m. — The Braves got one man on as Zimmermann plunked Heyward in the ankle with a pitch. That was it, though, as Jordan is cruising through three innings at 39 pitches.

2:02 p.m. — Nothing going for the Nationals in the bottom of the third who went down in order. It’s only three innings, but Hale is looking strong. He’s thrown 44 pitches and is dealing a lot of strikes.

2:16 p.m. — Freeman led off with a single to right field, but that was it for the Braves. Zimmermann has thrown 60 pitches, 43 strikes as we’re on to the bottom of the fourth knotted at 0-0.

2:27 p.m. — The Nats got their first really good chance at scoring in the bottom of the fourth. LaRoche walked with one out and Zimmerman doubled off the left field wall right after. LaRoche was sent home all the way from third, however, and a relay from Upton to Simmons easily set up a tag at home. Bob Henley, the Nats’ third base coach, would probably want that back if given the choice. Hale is at 64 (43).

2:40 p.m. — The Braves finally broke the scoreless tie on a crushed homer by Gattis on the second pitch of the inning. He blasted a 92 mph fastball over the bullpen in left field. Zimmermann also gave up a single to Simmons and walked Heyward, but was able to escape with just one run allowed. All in all, it could have been worse. Zimmermann’s at 81 pitches and Craig Stammen is warming up in the bullpen.

2:55 p.m. — The bottom of the fifth was an interesting one. Desmond led off with what appeared to be an inside the park home run, as Justin Upton couldn’t find the ball in the left field corner. He threw his arms up to lobby for a ground rule double as Desmond rounded the bases and reached home. Fredi Gonzalez challenged the play and had it overturned. Desmond went back to second and was caught trying to steal third. Hale got of the inning and it’s still 1-0 Braves. Hale has thrown 73 pitches (48 strikes).

3:04 p.m. — Stammen allowed a double to Johnson, but no runs. It’s still 1-0 Braves as Gus Schlosser has replaced Hale on the mound.

3:16 p.m.  — The Nats got back on the board thanks to a Zimmerman sac fly to bring Rendon home from third. Rendon led off with a single, reached second on a wild pitch, and then went to third on a LaRoche infield groundball. 1-1 is the score now.

3:19 p.m. — Stammen set the Braves down 1-2-3 and we’re on to the bottom of the seventh inning.

3:32 p.m. — The Nationals couldn’t cash in on a Lobaton double to right field and now Tyler Clippard will jog out to start the eighth.

3:49 p.m. — The Braves are back on top after Heyward led off with a walk and later scored on a Johnson sac fly to right. It’s Rendon, Werth and LaRoche up next in the bottom of the eighth.

4:02 p.m. — The Nats had a good chance to tie the game against reliever David Carpenter, but couldn’t seal the deal. Rendon singled to lead off and Werth joined him on base with a walk. LaRoche, Zim and Harper all then struck out to end the inning. The Nats will have Aaron Barrett pitch the ninth before they trot Desmond, Lobaton and a pinch-hitter out to face Craig Kimbrel.

4:06 p.m. — Barrett came in and pitched a clean inning, striking out Uggla and Gattis, and getting Simmons to fly out to deep center. Kimbrel running out for the bottom of the ninth.

4:15 p.m. — Frandsen pops out and this one’s over. Kimbrel gets another save against the Nats. Braves win 2-1, Desmond replay looms large.

145 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Go, Bulldog! Go, NATS!!

    Have fun at the park, everybody. My first home game is on Sunday.

  2. Hiram Hover - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Nats as a team now are tied for first in MLB with an OPS+ of 162; Braves rank 21st.

    No, it doesn’t mean much 3 games into the season, but I still prefer this situation to the reverse.

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Well then, while we’re at it . . .

      Team BA .304; SLG of .530 (!!)

  3. adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    ” last year gave up just two earned runs in two starts (1.50 ERA)”

    True . . . but one of them was his most recent start: 4 innings, 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs

    In any event, here’s hoping JZ can continue his awesome spring!

    GYFNG!

  4. philipd763 - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Do a Google search on “Matt Adams gets the finger” and enjoy the You Tube video. It’s a hoot. Nothing like a Reds fan giving a Cardinals player the finger! That’s one of baseball’s best rivalries.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      wow, that’s definitely not acceptable, right? I am talking about what Adams did.

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Beat the Barves!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Glad to see W Ramos at the park… So glad i took off today (as I always do on opening day)… Ran all my errands this morning so this afternoon could be all about the Nats…

    Lets do this!!!! :-).

    #beatdabarves

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Finally Nats have a scoreless 1st on the other team!

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Umm . . . . do we know how to win when we’re not behind in the first? ;-)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        adcwonk, oh yes!!!!

      • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Ya know, right now we have zero wins all season when we’re not behind in the first inning . . .

  8. adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    JZ 10 pitch first inning (7 strikes). Nice.

    Hale: 10 pitches 9 strikes. Yikes!

  9. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Zinn seems to have his high heat…good deal!

  10. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Finally realized out what the “C” is in the gameday line score: Challenges remaining. Cool.

    • natsfan reduxit - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      … Thx for this Eric. It was driving me crazy.

      Go Nats!!

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        You’re welcome! First noticed it on my phone…tapped it, stared at it, but it remained inscrutable!

  11. swang30 - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Ptcher’s duel…

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Time for some Nats longball.

  13. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    OK…turn the order over and GO.

  14. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    It happened again!

    “David Hale is trying to tie up Jordan Zimmermann with fastballs inside; Zimmermann is hitting .000 on pitches in that location compared to .000 overall.”

  15. swang30 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    As a software developer, I apologize for the crappy state of my industry. Gameday programmers suck.

  16. stoatva - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Makes a big difference when you’re playing a real live baseball team, dunnit?

  17. adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Dayum. . . . JZ is dealin’ today. 4 IP, 2, H, 7K’s, 0 BB, 0 R.

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      As a team, before this game, the Nats pitchers were throwing 12.5 K’s per 9 IP. And JZ, thus far, is only raising that number.

  18. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Whooooooweeeeee…. What a beautiful K pitch…

  19. scmargenau - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Dumb

    • scmargenau - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Re:sending alr

  20. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    UGH! Why oh why would you send LaRoche there?

    Oh well…

    • stoatva - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Sitting here thinking how much better I’d like having runners on second and third with one out with Harper and Desmond coming up.

      *sigh*

  21. 3on2out - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Horrible send! Out by 10 feet!

    • masterfishkeeper - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Bring back Trent Jewett!

    • Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      2 outs send him. Bad send.

  22. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Upton really looked bad on the play, but made up for it with the throw in to Simmons. Why would anybody send ALR on that play? I’m all for being aggressive, but that was just plain stupid.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      +1

  23. adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Well, thankfully we have our own Cy Young going against their Cy Young ;-)

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      OK. I jinxed him. My bad . . .

      (But didn’t I also jinx Hale? It goes both ways, no?)

  24. davecydell - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    held Laro on Rendon dbl other day,
    rendon went to right, this went to left,
    much easier to throw out runner from left than right,

  25. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Ruh roh.

    Hang tight JZ…

  26. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Zim getting tired?

  27. snerdblurter - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Just logging on now and had a thought about Matty’s lineup roulette. Has this type of thing been done before in recent years? I remember LaRussa maybe doing something similar? Is there anything other than anecdotal evidence that suggest having a player bat in the same spot day after day will improve his production? I get that you have to have a different approach batting 3rd vs. 6th, but is it really that hard to change your mindset from day to day?

    From the players standpoint, I think its a great thing. When you have the exact same line-up every day as we essentially did last year with Davey, it becomes this sacred cow, and if you have to change a guy from the #2 spot to the #7 spot, its a huge deal that can completely throw off his production. Similarly, if you’ve got a guy batting cleanup for the first 50 games and he’s not producing, moving him down in the order would be a huge knock to his ego. But if you switch it around all the time, guys don’t associate their entire identity with that specific spot – just because your the #7 hitter today, doesnt mean youre any less valuable than the #3 guy. It also promotes the idea of the team over the individual – guys will be asked to do whatever the team needs on a given day; one-day Desmond will knock a 2-out RBI single after LaRoche strikes out, the next it will be the other way around.

    Not exactly an advanced metrics analysis, but I think there could be something to it.. will be interesting to see if they can keep up the early production. Certainly could use some in the bottom of the 5th here…

    Go Nats!

    • Section 222 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      This is a interesting take. Remember what a big deal it was when Span was moved from the leadoff spot? Of course, he’s the one guy Matt hasn’t messed with this year.

  28. smatt1001 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    That looked sharp

  29. secretwasianman - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    This team is hitting too well for the 3rd base coach to send runners home like that. Is that the same guy as last year? Bryce striking out too much

  30. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    WHAT THE WHAT!?!?!?

    Inside the park home run!?!?!?

    OMG!

    Can that be challenged?!

  31. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Moron.

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      I’m only watching on gameday. How did that go down?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        Ball stuck under the padding, but clearly visible and could have been picked up and thrown in. Justin Upton may no effort to retrieve.

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        Charlie and Dave are saying JUp actually picked it up and put it back or threw it back or something?

    • Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      Lest anybody reading misunderstands, I was calling Upton a moron for not picking the ball up. Turns out he got away with grand larceny. He’s still an idiot.

  32. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    He’s got to pick that up.

  33. veejh - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    This is going to be interesting

  34. smatt1001 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Desi – Now is it upheld on review? (feels so weird saying that)

  35. texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Are they reviewing it? What is the prognosis here? Help us gamecast followers out NI nation!

  36. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Charlie and Dave are saying JUp actually picked up the ball then…threw it back?

    If that’s the case, I don’t see how this is overturned…

  37. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Upton gave up on the play… I mean seriously….

  38. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    OMG…overruled!?!?!?

  39. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    I hate the whole review thing. Bring back baseball.

  40. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Livid…. Livid… Livid…

  41. adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    An officemate came down here and said: “what the heck, my Sports Illustrated app said that Ian hit a HR that was 240 feet, how did that happen!” ;-)

  42. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Unbelievable.

  43. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Terrible… Terrible… Terrible…

  44. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Time to put your heads down and get Desi home, Nats.

  45. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    ARGH!

  46. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Heads down Nats, heads down…

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Er, in the “work hard, don’t get distracted sense.” Obviously heads-down baseball requires heads-up playing ;)

  47. texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Thats not a time to be trying to steal third. Never make the first out at third.

    • jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      I agree. That’s 2 outs we’ve run into today.

      • texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Among other things, it forces you to take Zimm out, when there might have been a chance to have him up there sacrificing with no outs.

      • jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        texnat1,

        They didn’t have to take him out. It’s only 1-0. They must have taken him out because he’s weakening one day after being sick.

  48. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    If this was being played in Atlanta and that call was made against them their field would be covered in garbage..

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      In the old days at Candlestick, the fans — all 6,000 of them — wolud be chanting “BULL! S**T! BULL! S**T!”

  49. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    I never understand trying to steal third with a left handed batter.

    • Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Makes it more difficult plus Simmons was keeping Desi close and a bad jump and there was NO OUTS!

  50. smatt1001 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    ARGH!!!

  51. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    There’s aggressive baserunning and bad decisions. Two outs you get aggressive.

  52. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    This is exactly the kind of nonsensical inning that derailed games last year…we’re at the top of our order next inning…we need to buckle down grind it out.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Probably an adrenaline-driven brainlock, I can’t imagine what sign he could have missed in that situation.

  53. jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    OK. Let’s everybody calm down. This is after all the 5th inning of the 4th game of the year. Not the end of the world just yet.

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Agreed…I especially hope the team has moved on completely. Otherwise it will guide their choices…like, say, stealing third with no outs and a lefty up…

  54. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Just some terrible coaching decisions…

    Harp trying to steal…
    Sending ADAM FRICKIN SLOW AS MOLASSES LAROCHE
    Desi trying to steal 3rd with… No outs…

  55. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Take it!

  56. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    THANK you Zim. Phew.

    Keep it moving, Harp…

  57. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Way to go Zimm….

    • Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Battle of the bullpens now.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        We may go extra innings… I still don’t know if Hale is really that good or if it’s just no tape on him…

        But I hate that we couldn’t get some runs against him.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        I read that as “Battle of the Bullpen Cows” at first. :-D

  58. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Give Stammen another…

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      NM, due up this inning…

  59. jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Mrsb.

    It’s always tough the 1st time you see a new pitcher. He didn’t walk people so he gave himself a chance.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Definitely not taking anything away from his performance… Results wise, he got it done… I will pay attention to his next couple of starts, though…

  60. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Desi looked like he was determined to just swing no matter what at his last at bat..

  61. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    LOBI! Woo!

  62. veejh - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Lobo!!! Nice double.

  63. masterfishkeeper - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Gee, I would use Blevins, not Clipp, against the top of the Braves lineup. I guess Clippard is pretty tough on lefthanders, but still.

  64. jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    That’s asking for trouble.

  65. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I’m way too stressed about game 4…OF THE SEASON Sheesh.

    At least the sac bunt was avoided…

  66. texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    BJ Upton, yikes.

  67. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Freeman gets to ball two for a hit. Ugh…

  68. texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Lead off walks.

  69. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    9 K’s in 16 AB’s for BJ.
    With the lefty Heyward leading off,who has always hit Clippard, why not Blevins this inning?

    • texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Or at least bring him in to face Heyward?

  70. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Walks hurt.. Thanks Clip..

  71. jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Note to Clippard: Walking the leadoff guy in a 1-1 game in the 8th is a lousy idea.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      Just learned this a second ago…

      2013 flashback. Per Braves announcers, Clippard did not have a scoreless outing in 6 tries last year.

  72. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Oh, those bases on balls …

  73. scmargenau - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    Should have walked FF

    • jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      They mau have if Upton was able to sacrifice.

  74. Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Leadoff walks will kill you but how good is Freddie Freeman. 140 foot little looper to move Heyward to 3rd on a lazy single. He wasn’t swinging for the fences and that’s why he’s so good as he does the little things.

  75. secretwasianman - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Clipp walks the first guy way too much.

  76. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    I’ll take a walk, but I really would’ve preferred that Werth got a pitch to hit…

  77. jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Do we sacrifice?

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      You see that point on the board today? That was a sac fly.

      We had one or a few in NYC, too, as I recall.

      We’ve probably already sac’d more this year than all of last year combined ;)

      • Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        Eric, there is no such thing as a Sac Fly without a runner on 3rd.

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        Didn’t Zim drive in a runner on third with a fly out?

      • Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Yes Eric, RZim had a runner on 3rd and that was a Sac Fly. LaRoche had a runner on 2nd and 1st. If those runners tag up it’s a flyout with advancement on a tagup.

    • Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      With LaRoche? Are you serious?

  78. Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Here it is right here Adam LaRoche. What’s your approach here after a 4 pitch walk to Werth.

  79. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    MAN, strike two was NOT a strike.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      These outside pitches have been getting me all day…

  80. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    This has been a an awesome game…

  81. texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Laroche and ZIm laying down for the Braves in crunch time.

    • Ghost of Steve M - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Here I was just complimenting Freddie Freeman on approach and our guys are all swinging for 500 feet. With no out and men on 2nd and 1st LaRoche has to make contact to move up the runners.

      This is the Braves and the Nats have executed most of the day like they looked last season.

      • texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        Sometimes I feel like this team just doesn’t have what it takes offensively to win a championship. Too many guys unable/unwilling to change their approach when the situation calls for it.

        I’m being overly negative, but I hope that they can learn from this experience.

        And perhaps MW can learn that Laroche should not be hitting cleanup at this stage of his career.

  82. texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Well that is a gut punch

  83. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    That hurt….

  84. Danny - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Why can’t we beat this team.. Arg!!!!!

  85. secretwasianman - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Not going anywhere until we can shake this monkey on our backs called the Braves.

  86. jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Well will just have to beat Kimbrel. That’s all.

  87. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Wow!

  88. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    What a frustrating game…

    I did see the Nats come back against Kimbrel live and in the flesh last season, so I’m not *entirely* writing this one off.

    But, I’ve already processed the loss and am ready for tomorrow ;).

  89. Danny - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Not eager for another year of being shutout by the Braves bullpen. Get one off Kimbrel.

  90. texnat1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    4 straight Ks from the heart of the order.

  91. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Well…bad base running hurt us… Thought we got screwed on that in the park homer…

    And in the 8th.. 2 on no outs, everyone swings for the fences instead of making contact, shortening the swing…

    Disappointing….

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Well, it’s not like Carpenter is chopped liver. He _averaged_ over a K per inning last year.

      • jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        wonk,

        Carpenter is very good and it was a bunting situation there but LaRoche is absolutely the worst player you can have up in that situation.

        Ghost makes a valid point about Freeman. He is such a good situational hitter. I almost knew ahead of time we are in deep trouble when Clip walked Heywood. I was actually hoping Upton sacrifices him to 2nd and the we walk Freeman.

        My last thought is that our offense won’t be fully operational until Harper gets on track which he will.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        Doesn’t matter about Carpenter… It’s the approach of the Nats hitters…

        And I was hoping that Adam would bunt.. I was probably the only one… But all I kept thinking was keep the Line moving and to just make contact…

      • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        The clean up hitter almost never bunts. For any team. That’s why he’s batting cleanup.

  92. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    The Nats have beat themselves, along with the f’n replay. Two stupid, very stupid, base running errors, a 3b coaching error, a very questionable decision by Matt to have Clip face Heyward, and the meat of the order did not come through with the table set.

    • jd - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      That’s pretty much it in a nut shell.

    • letswin3 - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      Yep.

  93. veejh - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    annoying loss

  94. manassasnatsfan - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    The reason we loat 13 of 19 last year is repeated in game 1 this year. Our bullpe is outpitxhed by theirs.

    We need to clobber the starters whuch we dont, because we are weak against the bullpen.

    This trend has to change for us to win.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.5
Through Tuesday's games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets 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

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.

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