Tommy Hanson was great. He went six innings, allowing just six hits and no walks, striking out eight, and 64 of his 88 pitches were strikes. The Nats only had a couple of hard-hit balls. He got a loss, and was charged for three runs, one of them “earned” because the rest of the ballclub decided not to show up.
Stephen Strasburg didn’t show up either, and was replaced as starter at the last minute by Miguel Batista. I don’t want to say that Batista is old, but he helped integrate the Texas League. He hadn’t started in two years and as a reliever had an ERA in the mid-fours, and the Braves got three hits in five innings — or half as many hits as strikeouts — against him.
Meanwhile, the Nats got a run in the first when McCann threw a ball into leftfield with Nyjer Morgan — who had already stolen second — stealing third. In the second, Chipper took a grounder that maybe should have been a double play and certainly should have been at least one out — with the remains of Ivan Rodriguez running, Chipper could have run to first base — and threw it into right to give the Nats runners second and third, nobody out; the next batter singled in two runs.
The Braves rarely threatened, and had only five hits. Eric Hinske had two of them, one a double. They are determined to make a race of this.