Nationals v Braves (April 18th-20th)

I would like to start off by apologizing for the lack of posting. The school year is coming to an end soon and there has been lots of work to do.

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017: 3-1 W (Braves)

The Nationals played their first game at the Braves’ new SunTrust Park. The scoring started in the 5th inning of the contest as Wilmer Difo singled in Matt Wieters to give the Nats the advantage early. Later in the inning Adam Eaton hit a bouncer up the middle just past shortstop Dansby Swanson to score Difo from second and add to the Nationals lead. Scherzer did not give up an earned run in his seven strikeout performance. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th of a 3-1 game (the tying run on second), Shawn Kelly struck out the final Braves batter to end the game. However, home plate umpire, C.B. Buckner made an atrocious call of a foul ball that was not even close. Jayson Werth and the rest of the Nationals made sure Buckner knew he had missed that one. Kelly was able to save the game despite the umpire’s mistake and the Nationals took the first game against Atlanta. Shawn Kelly came into the game for the save because Dusty Baker said that Blake Treinen has been removed from the closer’s role until further notice and Shawn Kelly and Koda Glover will share duties.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017: 14-4 W (Braves)

Joe Ross was recalled from AAA Syracuse to tow the rubber for the boys wearing the away grays. Bryce Harper got the scoring going in the top of the 1st, crushing a two out home run over the 16 foot wall in right-center field against Julio Tehran. In the 2nd inning of play and the bases loaded Adam Eaton hit a jam shot to left scoring Jayson Werth to even the score at two runs a piece. Then with 2 outs again, Harper went deep for his third career grand slam and giving the Nationals a 6-2 lead over Atlanta. The Nationals tacked on another run in the 4th inning. Ryan Zimmerman came up in the 8th inning and hit the Nationals second grand slam of the game extending the lead to 11-3 in Washington’s favor. The Nationals went on to win 14-4 getting Joe Ross a win in his first start of the year, striking out seven batters over seven innings.

Not only did the Nationals win but the Capitals and Wizards both won their playoff games making it a D.C. Trifecta! The Capitals are now tied in their series with Toronto 2-2 and the Wizards have taken a 2-0 lead over the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Playoffs.

Thursday, April 20th, 2017: 3-2 W (Braves)

Strasburg took the hill for Washington, looking to sweep the Braves in their first visit to the new ballpark. Michael A. Taylor hit a sac fly to score Ryan Zimmerman in the top of the 2nd to get the scoring going. Braves pitcher R.A. Dicky was able to help himself out with an rbi ground out in the 2nd. Former National, Kurt Suzuki, hit a sacrafice fly to score Brandon Phillips and give Atlanta a 2-1 lead. In the 6th, Ryan Zimmeran hit a homer that scored Bryce Harper, taking back the lead for Washington making it 3-2. Stras had defensive help in the 6th inning with a great catch by Michael A. Taylor in center field. Anthony Rendon made a spectacular diving play at third with a strong throw to Zimmerman in the 7th inning with a runner on and two outs to end the inning. Kelly left two men on in getting his second save of the season, and getting the Nationals a sweep of the Braves.

Series Recap:

The Nationals swept the Braves on the road which is a fantastic sign. Washington improves to 10-5 through 15 games. As always the offense was on point with a huge 14 run game on Wednesday. Bryce Harper is hitting better than he did in his 2015 MVP year right now and Ryan Zimmerman keeps producing offensively getting his home run total to five already. Starting pitching was solid, each starter going seven innings in their respected starts. It was good to have Joe Ross back in the rotation as that has been a weak spot for the Nationals so far. Blake Treinen was removed from his role as the closer and looks like Kelly and Glover will battle it out for that position. As I have stated in an early post, I like Koda Glover for the role but if Kelly keeps securing saves let him handle the job.

(featured image by the Nationals Instagram account, @nationals)

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