Nationals 6, Braves 1 (by coop)

It was ugly.

The Nats scored four runs in the first inning and coasted to a 6-1 victory. The Braves had a couple of bright spots and a home run. Otherwise it was all Washington. Here’s how it went.

Denard Span singled to start the game, and Danny Espinosa doubled him home. Shelby Miller got Yunel Escobar on a ground out and struck out Bryce Harper. Things were looking up, but appearances deceive. Wilson Ramos singled in Espinosa, and Clint Robinson crushed a two-run home run. Ian Desmond struck out, and the top of the first ended with the Nats up four-zip.

A. J. Pierzynski is an offensive catcher. Every time he dons the gear, it offends baseball fans everywhere. In the third the Braves caught a runner trying to score from third base in a well-executed pickle, but A. J. threw the ball into left field allowing the Nats’ fifth run to score. In the fifth, A. J. botched a Miller pitch for a passed ball. He did double his first time up, however.

Shelby pitched well after the first. He finished five innings, surrendering only the four first inning earned runs and Pierzynski’s gift unearned run. Miller gave up nine hits, four in the first and walked two (one intentional). He also struck out ten, a season high. Then he gave way to the Braves bright spots.

Two nine-year minor league veterans made their major league debuts for the Braves tonight in relief of Miller. Jake Brigham sparkled. He pitched three scoreless innings, allowed one hit, walked one and fanned four. Welcome to the Bigs, Jake. You did good.

Brigham was followed by fellow debutant Ryan Kelly. You’ve got to love the name, although the Irish luck was a little late in arriving. Kelly allowed hits to the first two batters he faced, then got Wilson Ramos to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. Unfortunately a run scored, but this horse had been stolen when Miller left the barn door open in the first.

Juan Uribe spoiled the shutout bid in the ninth by homering off — guess who — David Carpenter.

Here are some things I noticed. They are my opinions only and in no way, shape or form constitute the viewpoint of Braves Journal or Captain Hook. AARgh!

The Nationals are a better team than the Braves. We’ll be lucky to avoid getting swept. With our offense, we’ll likely be lucky just to score.

Like him or not (and Joe Simpson doesn’t), Bryce Harper is an excellent baseball player. Likewise, Jordan Zimmermann’s a pretty good pitcher.

The Nationals played better defense tonight than the Braves, but our shortstop is better than their shortstop.

Freddie Freeman’s wrist is not improving, and he is unlikely to come off the Disabled List when eligible. Great.

The Braves did not quit. Shelby Miller certainly did not. AJP probably didn’t either; but he’s so inept, it’s hard to tell.

You lose some. Then you lose some more.

It’s going to be a long season.

28 thoughts on “Nationals 6, Braves 1 (by coop)”

  1. I was on a plane to San Francisco, so I missed out on all the actions. Thanks to this recap, I can almost see AJP’s errant throw in my mind. The Nationals got lucky in this one. They prolly should’ve only won it like 5-1. Tomorrow is another day.

  2. John, you’re probably not picturing the part where Andrelton turned away from Pierzynski and put on one of the more disgusted expressions I’ve ever seen on a baseball field.

    Great recap, Coop. I feel like I should put “Great recap, Coop” on speed-dial. You’re a recap machine.

  3. This team is starting to become exactly who we thought they were, it just took Freeman going on the DL for it to all fall apart. At least we won’t be delusional buyers at the deadline. We have some valuable pieces.

  4. I agree. It would be a bummer if we let a weak division entice us into doing anything that interrupted the rebuild. The hell of it is that if Freddie can come back and we can get Teheran going we may compete anyway.

    BTW the USWNT was magnificent last night. By far their best performance against a top notch opponent. I know some here don’t appreciate soccer but it is a true spectacle the way it was played last night.

  5. Braves won the first game vs. Washington this year, but now have lost the next 9. Break the bad streak, at least.

  6. Got to see The Baseball Project in Athens last Sunday. Their knowledge of the lore of the game is pretty damned impressive…they even have a song about the OTHER Dock Ellis game.

  7. Sansho, you were out at AthFest? You gotta give me a holler if you’re out next year.

  8. Does anyone know how to find a player’s stats sorted against a certain team? I’m curious what Span’s on-base percentage is against us this year.

  9. I just learned today that they are also paying Brett Saberhagen until 2029. LOL.

  10. Being “sellers” probably means trading Uribe, but I’ve come to love the dude and he’d make watching August and September much more enjoyable if he hangs around.

  11. I think I’m watching the wrong team. Something called “offense” just happened that inning.

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