Aug 18, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) celebrates scoring with catcher Evan Gattis (24) in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 8/19

The Washington Post

Nationals vs. Braves: Bryce Harper strikeout ends 2-1 loss to Atlanta

Aug 18, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34) reacts to striking out in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Braves won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The loss was the Nationals’ 12th in 16 meetings with Atlanta. The Braves have won six of the eight one-run games between the teams. They possess a seemingly insurmountable 15½-game lead in the NL East standings and only three more games between them remain. On the field, the Nationals’ fiercest rival has been undoubtedly better. But Nationals center fielder Denard Span refuses to believe there is that large of a gap between them.

“It just seems like they find a way to win,” Span said. “Even [Saturday] night, we were able to win, but they’ve broken our hearts time and time again. We’ve had the leads. I think they’ve probably come back at least four of those [12] wins, and that can crush a team. I haven’t played against a team like that in a while where they just have our number.”

If only it were that simple. The Nationals’ performance was, as right fielder Jayson Werth described earlier in the series, just good enough to lose. They hurt themselves with 11 stranded base runners on Sunday. They hit 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and 5 for 37 in the series.

“It’s not like we’re laying over and letting these guys walk all over us,” starter Gio Gonzalez said. “We’re fighting.”

 

ESPN

Braves adjust rotation for Mets

The Braves have changed their rotation for their upcoming series at the Mets after they had to use starter Kris Medlen in relief during Saturday night’s 15-inning loss to the Nationals.

Medlen had been scheduled for Tuesday’s opening game in New York. Instead, Brandon Beachywill move up one day to start on Tuesday. Alex Wood also moves up one day for Wednesday’s start.

Due to an off day on Monday, the starters will be pitching on their normal five days’ rest.

 

Fansided

Atlanta Braves Dan Uggla says his vision problems are corrected

Now, corrected to 20/15 vision, Uggla is nearing a return to the Atlanta lineup. Doctors have informed the infielder he can take batting practice as soon as this week and he could return from the disabled list when first eligible on August 28th.

Per the AJC:

One day after undergoing LASIK eye surgery, Dan Uggla said he’s already seen considerable improvement. Uggla said his eyes were checked in a follow-up visit Saturday, and he tested out with 20/15 vision. Because of recent problems with astigmatism, he had been at about 20/30 or 20/35.

“That tells me right there that it went good,” Uggla said. “There are some things that are going to be cloudy or whatever at times. But over the next three, four, five days it should settle in.”

 

 

Baseball Hot Corner

Is Atlanta Braves Third Baseman Chris Johnson Really This Good?

Chris Johnson is currently boasting a slash line of .336/.373/.477/.850, the average being 11 points higher than the second highest average, held by Yadier Molina. Along with that strong slash line, Johnson has hit 26 doubles, nine long balls, and knocked in 53 runs.

Chances are, Johnson would have had many more RBI on the season, if not for the fact that he had been batting seventh and eighth for most of the season until somewhat recently, now consistently batting fifth in the Braves lineup.

With runners in scoring position, Johnson is posting a slash line of .337/.385/.547/.932, and with two out RISP situations, he’s been even better, hitting .395/.469/.581/1.051 in those scenarios.

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