Jun 19, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT
It’s been two long months since the Nationals and Braves squared off, as they each played six of their first 12 games of the season against each other. Now they go at it in a midseason, four-game series that could vault either team into a commanding lead in the National League East.
Jordan Zimmermann (5-3, 2.98) will get the first crack at a Braves lineup that has the second lowest runs scored in the majors this season. Zimmermann faced Atlanta in his first start of 2014 when he allowed one run through five innings but took the loss. He has eight career starts against the franchise and holds a 3-1 record with a 2.98 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings.
The Nationals – winners of two straight – will go up against Annapolis, Md.-native Gavin Floyd (1-2, 2.98). Floyd has six career outings against the Nats, holding a 4.45 ERA across 32 1/3 innings.
We may have some thunderstorms tonight, so let’s hope the weather holds up. Check back for updates…
ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Scattered T-storms, 81 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
2B Tommy La Stella
CF BJ Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
C Evan Gattis
RF Jason Heyward
3B Chris Johnson
LF Ryan Doumit
SS Andrelton Simmons
RHP Gavin Floyd
HP Tim Welke (cc)
1B Todd Tichenor
2B Clint Fagan
3B Mark Carlson
7:19 p.m. — There was nothing going for either team in the first inning, as each pitcher tossed a perfect frame. Zimmermann needed only nine pitches, while Floyd tossed 11.
7:39 p.m. — The second inning saw both teams get a runner on base, but no runs scored. The Braves got Heyward on with a bloop single to left field with one out. He may have been aided by a poor read by Zimmerman, who stepped back before running in to field the ball. The Nats got LaRoche on with a walk with no outs, but a Zimmerman GIDP and a Desmond strikeout ended the inning.
7:54 p.m. — We are still scoreless (and dry) through three innings here at Nats Park. The Braves went down 1-2-3 against Zimmermann who has now thrown 38 pitches. Espinosa led off the bottom half of the inning with a single, but that was it for the Nats. Floyd has thrown just 33 pitches.
8:10 p.m. — The Braves broke through with two runs in the top of the fourth to take a 2-0 lead on Zimmermann and the Nats. Freeman, Gattis and Heyward singled to load the bases before Johnson poked a single into center field to score two. Zimmermann is at 59 pitches.
8:26 p.m. — Both the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings saw nothing at all for the Nats on offense. Floyd is now through five on 50 pitches. Yea, 50 pitches.
8:41 p.m. — It is still a 2-0 game after six innings as both teams got one baserunner on, but no runs. Heyward walked with two outs for Atlanta and Span doubled with two outs for Washington. Zimmermann is at 75 pitches while Floyd has thrown just 63 pitches.
9:12 p.m. — No more runs in the seventh inning, but we did see Floyd leave the game. He was removed with an apparent elbow injury during the first at-bat of the bottom of the seventh. He returned this season from Tommy John surgery, so that’s an ominous sign. He was pitching very well before Anthony Varvaro replaced him. Jerry Blevins will now take over for the Nats to start the eighth.
9:33 p.m. — The Braves announced that Floyd left the game with posterior swelling in his right elbow. He is getting X-rays done now and will be evaluated further afterwards. As far as the game goes, the Braves added a run in the top of the eighth on a Chris Johnson single off the knee of Blevins. Johnson came up with runners on the corners and one out. He hit a line drive that bounced off Blevins’ knee and past a diving Rendon into left field. It could have been much worse as Aaron Barrett later walked Simmons to load the bases for a pinch-hitting Justin Upton. It’s now a 3-0 game, though, as Espinosa will step into the box.
9:52 p.m. — The Nats got nothing off Jordan Walden and the Braves only got a two-out double off Craig Stammen. Craig Kimbrel will now enter the game looking to close out this 3-0 game for the Braves. Span is set to lead off.
10:05 p.m. — Kimbrel shuts the door as the Nats fall to the Braves 3-0 to begin their four-game series. Nationals are now 37-34 on the year.
NL EAST STANDINGS
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.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 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.
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