Atlanta Braves Get Broomed By Washington Nationals


The Atlanta Braves just finished a three-game series with division rival Washington Nationals, and promptly got broomed on the road.

With the Atlanta Braves’ shaky pitching this year (mostly from the bullpen, but also from some starters), the sweep was disappointing, but not much of a surprise. After all, this series was the third time we’ve faced the Nationals already in the first-half of the season, and they’ve all ended sadly.

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The Braves lost 2 out of 3 to the Nats in late April. The Nats swept them in early May. Now, they were again swept by the Nationals in the series that wrapped early this evening with a 7-0 loss.

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I love watching the Atlanta Braves’ bats this year. They are playing within themselves, getting a ton of base hits, and just playing fundamental, ABC small ball well.

However, the Braves were both out-hit and out-pitched in this series. That’s the nicest way I know to say it.

Game 1 Nutshell

Stephen Strasburg pitched in Game 1, and while Stephen hasn’t had the best of luck against our Atlanta Braves (no win since 2012 until this series), he was still able to hold his own in a shaky year for him. He essentially out-pitched Alex Wood through five innings.

Additionally in Game 1, while the Washington Nationals left eight on base and went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, the Atlanta Braves left ten on base and went 0-for-4 on RISP.

Atlanta Braves – Game 2 Nutshell

In Game 2 of the series, Shelby Miller was phenomenal, but as usual got very little help from Atlanta bats.

Miller gave the Braves seven solid innings, allowing only 1 run on three hits, but the Braves again left eight on base and went a pitiful 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

An enormous part of the problem for the Braves in Game 2 was simply that as good as Shelby Miller was, the Braves were facing Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman had incredible command, kept the ball down, and although he gave up six hits, he allowed zero runs.

Atlanta Braves – Game 3 Nutshell

Finally, in Game 3, we saw more of the same. Rookie Matt Wisler was phenomenal in his recent début, but shaky today against a tough Nationals’ offense, going just four innings and giving up six runs on nine hits.  Surprisingly, relief came in and limited much more damage, but by then enough damage had already been done.

The Nationals started Doug Fister, who is always dangerous, but has struggled. Not today! Fister went seven innings, allowing zero runs on just four hits.

Atlanta bats again left seven on base in the last game of the series, while going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, while the Nationals went 3-for-11, scored seven, and stranded six.

Toss in some key and uncharacteristic errors by the Atlanta Braves, and again – the sweep was no real surprise.

Final Thoughts

The last few years, pre-season pundits have often picked the Washington Nationals to lead and win the NL East with ease, but our Atlanta Braves have always had something to say about that. This year, clearly we have some catching up to do to play as well as the Nationals are playing.

With one more series to play against the Nationals in the first half (July 1st through 3rd), and two more series against them in the 2nd half’s month of September, the testing is far from over.

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