Pitching Matchups, Times, & TV Listings
- Monday, April 29th, 7:10PM - Stephen Strasburg v. Julio Teheran (MASN HD - ESPN out of town)
- Tuesday, April 30th, 7:10PM - Gio Gonzalez v. Tim Hudson (MASN HD)
- Wednesday, May 1st, 7:10PM - Jordan Zimmermann v. Paul Maholm (MASN HD)
- Thursday, May 2nd, 7:10PM - Dan Haren v. Kris Medlen (MASN HD)
The Washington Nationals are once again over .500 as they head to Atlanta to face off with the the Braves. When these two teams played earlier, they were both headed in opposite directions. Washington had a decent record but they had not been clicking, the pitching staff and offense were both searching for themselves, and the defense did not come up clutch when needed.
The Braves had everything figured out, and it led to the sweep as the Atlanta bats powered through the weekend series bolstering their lead in the division. However things are turning around now as the Nats seems to have found a groove during their series with the Reds, and the Braves massively faltered during their recent road trip.
Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann are coming off outstanding 1-hit performances and they will hope to spread their success to the other members of the pitching staff. But they will have to contain Justin Upton, as he is on a tear leading the league in home runs. Zimmermann has stated that the team was embarrassed by the Braves earlier in the month and the Nats want to return the favor.
Adam LaRoche's batting slump has continued as he is 0-26 recently. He is heading back to where he began his major league career, so maybe some home cooking is all he needs to get the bat going. If he does not sort things out in the next couple of games, expect Tyler Moore to start getting more at bats.
- Wilson Ramos is expected to be reactivated from the DL for tonight's game.
- Ryan Zimmerman is still on the DL and he is expected to return Friday in Pittsburgh - Anthony Rendon will most likely be sent back down.
Song of the Series: Gold On The Ceiling - The Black Keys
Gold on the ceiling can refer to the many accolades that come with being a team at the top of their division. Both of the teams in this series know what that's like as the Nationals won the NL East last year, while the Braves won the NL East 11 times in a row.
However, the Braves have been slumping recently and they will be well aware of the how the Nats played against the Reds this weekend. Sure it is only April, but division races are very important throughout the whole season, because you don't want to be playing catch-up in September.
"I ain't blind, just a matter of time before you steal it," is a part of the chorus. This line will also be stuck in the back of the Braves players' minds as long as they are in first place, because they know the Nationals are coming and it won't be long before the Braves are looking up at first place.
Matchup to Watch: Stephen Strasburg v. Stephen Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg has not been himself this season and he will be hoping to right the ship in his start tonight. Teams have been attacking him early in the game and the Nationals have not been able to recover in the later innings, which means Strasburg will have to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders.
The Braves lineup has been struggling recently, which will bode well for Strasburg in his start. If it does not start off well, he will have to fight the mental battle in order to settle down and be the Stephen Strasburg that we know from the past few years.
Classic Matchup Moment
An ump made a bad call and Davey Johnson was fired up! See what happened here.
Written By Kevin Craig