Braves 5, Nationals 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – September 18, 2013 – ESPN

Well, at least we got one.

Alex Wood took the mound for the first time since September 18th and turned in a pretty encouraging performance, I thought. He didn’t make it out of the fifth inning, but that’s partly because Bucknor gonna Bucknor — he pitched better than his line (6 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 2 runs) showed. (He’d be my fourth starter in the postseason, following Medlen, Minor, and Teheran, in that order.)

As for the bats, they looked pretty awful against the mighty Ross Ohlendorf, until the top of the sixth, when Dan Uggla (finally!) hit a bomb, and so did Justin Upton, to give the Braves their lead. They tacked on individual runs in the 7th and 9th, and Craig Kimbrel was back to his old self, so that was that.

Also worth noting: Out of the ‘pen, Loe, Downs, and Carpenter got some big outs, and Crotchety Joe Simpson — riffing first on CB Bucknor and then on Ryan Matheus — was particularly enjoyable, tonight. (Yes, I’m going to leave the B-Ref link to Joe’s stats; keep them in mind, the next time he’s telling you what quality MLB hitters should be doing.)

I hate the Nats. Their fans are stupid, and their manager and players seem to have a really tough time with reality. It’s fun finishing significantly ahead of them in the standings.

The Magic Number, as you know, is now at two. The lead over St. Louis for home-field advantage remains at 1.5 games. The Braves have Thursday off and will open a series at Wrigley on Friday night afternoon, because Wrigley.

Author: Stu

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I've been married since July 17, 2004 to my beautiful wife, who also doubles as my best friend. We have an almost-three-years-old Boston Terrier named Lucy who's also pretty awesome. My wife and I both graduated from Vanderbilt University in May of 2004. I graduated from Law School at the University of Georgia in May of 2007 and am now practicing in Nashville, Tennessee. I really, really love the Atlanta Braves.

38 thoughts on “Braves 5, Nationals 2”

  1. The game on Friday is a 2:00 start, and so the Nationals need to lose tomorrow so that we can celebrate when we win on Friday. If they win tomorrow, and then we win on Friday and they lose Friday night, do we celebrate on Saturday? This is why beating the Nationals twice in this series would have been nice. Oh well, as long as we wrap this thing up soon, I can’t complain!

  2. I’m still unsure what happened. I was at the game up the 3B line (really good seats, actually), and it looked like Buckner warned both benches after a totally innocuous HBP from Tony Varvaro. Then next inning, Chris Johnson gets hit, and it’s like no biggie, play on. What did I miss?

  3. I remember Skip complaining about how bad Bucknor was for years. Everytime he umps I think there must be some way that he keeps his job and he can’t be as bad as he seems. Stuff like tonight makes me realize he really is that bad.

  4. I was surprised to see Nats fans filing out as early as the eighth inning. Consider that their team rallied back in the late innings as recently as yesterday, you’d think they’d hold out hope for just a bit longer.

  5. Was listening to the radio for most of the game, so I missed most of Simpson’s tirades (although a friend in ATL was amused enough to text me about them).

    However, Powell had some good quips on the radio, as well. After the odd warning the home-plate umpire issued to both benches, he said, “The game just cannot hide from CB Bucknor.”

  6. It would be awesome if we can continue to keep both the Cards and Dodgers behind us so that one of them will be gone in the NLDS.

  7. The Braves need to get Heyward back, and Uggla at second, because this Johnson-batting-leadoff-and-not-eighth thing will be unwatchable if it is happening in the postseason.

  8. Heyward seems to be making progress. I would like to have him back by next Friday.

    Don’t forget we hold the tie breaker over everyone. That win in St. Louis and Upton’s slam vs. the Dodgers is looking huge.

  9. Success it seems did not sit well
    with those who’d told him go to hell
    then, injured, he’s regressing
    pile on, you need no blessing
    a perfect time to ring his bell.

  10. If Schafer can’t run full speed, he won’t be worth much in the playoffs. We may need his legs to steal a base or turn a bunt single into a triple. Here’s hoping he doesn’t lose that speed before the playoffs.

  11. OK, now that we’re at a Magic Number of 2 with games versus the Cubs and Brewers, and with the Natspos looking at 6 with the Reds and Cards, can we start to rosterbate the Playoffs?

    My hoped for roster:

    Heyward
    J. Upton
    Freeman
    Gattis
    McCann
    C. Johnson
    Uggla
    Simmons

    as the starting eight.

    Bench would be:

    Laird
    R. Johnson
    E. Johnson
    Success
    BJ Upton

    (I can’t see Janish on the roster, as his spot can be handled by EJ. I also don’t see Terdoslavich making the cut, since he apparently hasn’t had a hit since the second term of GW Bush.)

    Starters

    Medlen
    Minor
    Teheran
    Wood

    Bullpen

    Kraken
    Avilan
    Carpenter
    Walden
    Downs
    Ayala
    Varvaro
    Maholm

    I’d prefer the Mississippi Hawaiian since he’d give us a third left-handed option out of the pen, although Freddy garcia may have pitched his way onto the roster by his good outings recently.

    SO, who did I miss?

  12. I wish we had picked up DeJesus when he went on waivers. He could handle leadoff and play a decent CF. He’s a better option than Upton or Schafer.

  13. While I detest Bucknor, his strike zone really wasn’t that bad last night.

    http://brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/zoneTrack.php?month=9&day=18&year=2013&game=gid_2013_09_18_atlmlb_wasmlb_1%2F&prevDate=0918

    If I’m Wood I obviously want that pitch and I’m glad he got fired up because it seemed to wake the team up but for all CB’s faults I really didn’t find him that egregious last night. He didn’t try to bait Wood and he let him stay in when he really could’ve been tossed before Harper hit.

    The warnings thing was pretty dumb though.

  14. 23 — I suspect either Varvaro or Maholm would be left off to add another position player — probably Janish.

  15. I think the warning was due to history of these teams earlier this season. I don’t think anyone thinks that Varvaro was intentionally throwing at him, but they didn’t want it to escalate.

  16. Also, that graph has to be inaccurate to a certain degree. Bucknor rang up Uggla on what was clearly a pitch inside. K zone showed a replay that the pitch was about 3-4 inches inside. That graph doesn’t show that pitch.

  17. csg

    I think the pitch in question is the one on the bottom chart, the red square on the left. The charts are shown from the umps perspective (you may already know that) so I’m thinking the red square was the pitch to Uggla and the green triangle just inside of it was the pitch to Werth.

  18. Frank Wren was on record saying he made multiple waiver claims on OF options but the players never made it to the Braves. It’s hard being on top.

  19. @22 Considering BJ is thoroughly awful at playing baseball, the best we can probably hope for is that he turns in a stellar month of tweeting/PR work in the offseason.

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