Next for Braves: Washington Nationals

Series preview: vs. Nationals

When (TV): 7:35 p.m. Friday (WPCH); 4:05 p.m. Saturday (WPCH); 8:05 p.m. Sunday (ESPN)

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Friday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (3-1, 3.30 ERA) vs. LH Ross Detwiler (3-3, 3.65)

Saturday: Braves LH Mike Minor (2-4, 6.96) vs. RH Stephen Strasburg (4-1, 2.21)

Sunday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (5-2, 1.77) vs. LH Gio Gonzalez (6-1, 1.98)

About the Braves:

Batting: Entering Thursday, the Braves had hit only .158 (25-for-158) while averaging 1.8 runs per game during a 1-4 stretch. They scored four of their five runs in the first three games at Great American Ballpark via solo home runs. Freddie Freeman was hitting .164 (9-for-55) in 15 games since the dry air in Colorado began bothering his eyes. Martin Prado is hitting .389 (21-for-54) against left-handers.

Pitching: Hudson is on a dominant trajectory, going seven or more innings in each of his past three starts, including 7 2/3 shutout innings his last time out against Tampa. The Braves have won four of his five starts since Hudson’s return from back surgery. He is 14-3 with a 2.05 ERA in 23 career starts against the Nationals, including 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA against them last season.

Miscellaneous: The Braves went 9-9 against the Nationals last year and lost two out of three at Nationals Park Sept. 23-25 in a key series loss during their September collapse.

About the Nationals:

Batting: Former Brave Adam LaRoche is fourth in the NL with 33 RBIs, not bad when his team considered a run at free agent first baseman Prince Fielder over the winter. LaRoche also leads the Nats in batting average (.297), home runs (eight) and on-base percentage (.392). Rookie Bryce Harper is hitting .267 (24-for-90) with six doubles, three triples, two home runs and nine RBIs since his call-up. The Nats are 25th in the majors with 163 runs scored.

Pitching: The Nationals lead the majors with a 2.90 ERA as a staff, and their starters lead the majors with a 2.71 ERA. All five of their starters have ERAs under 4.00. Detwiler is 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in six career games (three starts) against the Braves. He started against them last Sept. 25, pitching six shutout innings on four hits. Baltimore got him for six runs in five innings, including two homers, his last time out May 19. He’s lasted only five innings each of his past two starts while allowing 11 runs (10 earned).

Miscellaneous: Among the long list of injured Nationals players are right fielder Jayson Werth, out until August with a broken wrist, and catcher Wilson Ramos, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

-Carroll Rogers

7 comments Add your comment

Weaseal

May 24th, 2012
6:19 pm

Lets get a win tonight & then some Home Cookin’

STRETCH

May 24th, 2012
6:29 pm

Yeah, what he said!

JWOOD

May 24th, 2012
6:36 pm

We need to get our regular lineup back. Freeman can’t see the ball. Chipper has a bum leg. McCann has the sniffles? Put these guys back into the lineup restored to their regular selves and this lineup becomes a threat again. Until then…our pitching better be like first half 2011.

RipeDan

May 24th, 2012
7:00 pm

Is freddie going to miss time?

Cap: Where's My Tip

May 24th, 2012
7:10 pm

going to be a tough series if the Nats play vs the NL East and the Braves run totals the past few games are any indication

Charlie

May 25th, 2012
8:38 am

The Braves are toast. They bring the same mind-set, as September of 2011. They are what they are. The last week proves it. It’s the same body of players, since theSeptember choke. The results are also the same. No real changes in the winter. Same choke, different day.

P-Man

May 25th, 2012
2:34 pm

@ Charlie: How can you say the last week proves they are “chokes”? It no more proves that than to say that the week before proves they are world champions. It’s “fans” like you that really bother me; negative “the sky is falling because we have a 4-game losing streak” attitude. One week does not prove that the team is either good or bad. Why don’t we see wher the team ends up at the end of the season, then we can decide whether they were successes or failures (whatever that means to you). Until then, why don’t you try supporting the team, instead of tearing them down?

And speaking of success, I understand a lot of people define success only as championships. I don’t subscribe to that theory. I believe success can be measured in many ways. If a team goes from 60 to 80 wins, I would say they had a successful season, even though they didn’t make the playoffs. That being said, I can’t say for certain what would constitute success for the Braves this season, ntil we reach the end of the season. Are there goals? Certainly! My point is that there CAN be success without winning a championship. (But I still want one!) :-)

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