Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) reacts after striking out against the Washington Nationals during the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves drop rain-delayed tilt to Washington Nationals

The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals began their match-up at 10:50 pm ET on Saturday night.

Read that sentence again.

Inexplicably, the decision makers thought that it would be a productive idea to have the two teams begin a game at nearly 11:00 pm local time, despite the fact that the Nats would be visiting Atlanta for four additional games this season, and as a result, things dragged on to the wee hours of Sunday morning at Turner Field. Unfortunately, the result was not ideal for the home team, as the Braves fell by a final score of 4-1 in 11 innings.

The 11th began with David Carpenter surrendering back-to-back singles to Anthony Rendon and Adam LaRoche, and after he retired Ian Desmond, Carpenter was relieved of his duties in favor of James Russell. The newly-acquired Russell has much better numbers against right-handers this season, but he was inserted to face Bryce Harper and Harper promptly drew a walk to load the bases with just one out.

On cue, Anthony Varvaro entered and allowed an RBI single to Wilson Ramos (giving Washington the lead at 2-1) and followed that with a Kevin Frandsen double that plated two runs to extend the lead to an insurmountable margin. It was a brutal end to a very, very long night in Atlanta, and when the dust settled, the Braves fell back to a 4.5-game deficit in the NL East.

The optimistic side of things came in the form of Aaron Harang on this night, and the big right-hander was very effective. Harang allowed only one earned run through seven innings, and in combination with Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel, Washington’s offense was silenced for the great majority of the night. Unfortunately, the Braves could not solve the riddle of Tanner Roark, and Washington’s bullpen held up longer than Atlanta’s at nearly 3:00 am ET.

Atlanta and Washington will complete their series with the finale on Sunday evening, as ESPN will televise the match-up at 8:00 pm ET. Alex Wood will take the mound in opposition of Gio Gonzalez, and to be frank, this is a very important evening for the Atlanta Braves. Stay tuned.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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