Series preview: at Nationals
When (TV): 7:05 p.m. Monday-Wednesday (SPSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Monday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (12-4, 3.59 ERA) vs. RH Jordan Zimmermann (9-7, 2.38)
Tuesday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (11-7, 3.39) vs. RH Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 2.91)
Wednesday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (4-1, 2.03) vs. LH Ross Detwiler (7-5, 2.35)
About the Braves:
Batting: The Braves scored only five runs in three games while losing two out of three to the Dodgers over the weekend, including a 5-0 loss on Sunday. Brian McCann is hitting 4-for-39 (.103) in August. Michael Bourn is on a nine-game hitting streak, while batting .351 (13-for-37), with two doubles, two triples, four stolen bases and three RBIs. Chipper Jones has hit safely in 36 of his past 42 games since June 19, while batting .342 (52-for-152).
Pitching: The Braves have won each of Hudson’s last eight starts dating back to his July 1st loss to the Nationals. Since then he is 6-0 with a 3.12 ERA. Hudson was 14-3 with a 2.05 ERA in 23 starts against the Nationals for his career before this season but is 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA in two starts against them in 2012. In those two starts he’s given up 13 runs (12 earned) in 12 2/3 innings. He’s coming off one of his best starts of the season with 6 1/3 shutout innings in a 6-0 win over the Padres.
Miscellaneous: The Braves trail the Nationals by five games in the NL East. They are 4-8 against the Nationals this season and 3-3 at Nationals Park, including a 2-2 split July 20-22 in their last meeting. The Braves are 17-25 at Nationals Park since it opened in 2008.
About the Nationals:
Batting: Danny Espinosa had reached base safely in 15 straight games, while batting .367 (22-for-60) with five homers and 13 RBIs. Michael Morse has hit eight home runs in his past 34 games, including a grand slam Friday off Johan Santana. Bryce Harper has hit two home runs in his past three games, after hitting just two in his previous 32 games since the All-Star break. After hitting .282 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in the first half, Harper was hitting .171 with nine RBIs since the All-Star break entering the weekend when he went 4-for-8 with three extra-base hits and four RBIs against the Mets.
Pitching: Zimmermann, who leads the majors with a 2.38 ERA, faces the Braves for the first time since May 12, 2011. He is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in four career starts against them, with three quality starts. Strasburg will face the Braves Tuesday for what could be the last time this season if he is shut down at 160-170 innings. Strasburg is at 139 1/3 innings. He’s 2-1 with a 4.087 ERA in four starts against the Braves this season. The Nats lost the last two.
Miscellaneous: Jayson Werth has returned from a broken wrist since the Braves last faced the Nats in July. He is hitting .380 (19-for-50) in August.
- Carroll Rogers