Braves Visit Washington During Tragedy (Update 2)

WashNavyYard2

Updates

Since we first posted, we’ve since learned from the Braves’ Twitter account that tonight’s game will be postponed due to the tragic shooting in Washington DC, and there will be a double-header tomorrow at 1:05 PM and 7:05 PM.  In light of the tragedy, this seems highly appropriate.  Again, our best wishes go out to the victim’s families, and the city as a whole.

 

Braves Visit Washington During Tragedy

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Washington DC, the decision about whether the Braves and Nationals will play tonight remains an open question.   According to reports from USA Today,

The Washington Nationals have not determined whether tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves will be impacted by the fatal shooting at the nearby Naval Sea Systems command headquarters.  The District of Columbia Police Department says Parking Lot B at Nationals Stadium is currently a site for families seeking to reunite with loved ones who work at the facility.

It’s been a while since I was last at a game in Washington, but I remember that the Navy Yard area is close, and the area is a busy transportation area for fans when games are going on.  My brother was stationed in Washington several years ago, and I recall then that the area immediately around Nationals park is very close to the Naval Yard and we now know the area where the shooting took place.  According to USA Today,

Should the game be postponed, the teams would need to play a doubleheader either Tuesday or Wednesday, as they don’t have common days off the remainder of the season.

First of all, our hearts go out to the victims in this tragedy, and while our purpose at Tomahawk Take is to report sports related stories, this tragedy is bigger than anything going on in sports.  So whether or not the Braves and Nationals play tonight takes a backseat in my mind to the tragedy the entire city of Washington DC is currently dealing with.

That said, while we hope for swift justice for the families of those involved, sometimes something as simple as baseball can provide healing, at least in the aftermath.  Hopefully if the Nationals and Braves do play this evening, it will be an event that leads in that direction for the city of Washington DC.

 Series Preview

The Washington Nationals are clawing, scrambling, and fighting with all they can muster to be a factor in the wild card race this year.  Eleven games back of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves, the two teams begin a three game series at Nationals Park tonight (pending developments in the shooting tragedy noted above), and the Nationals will be bringing everything to bear in an effort to put a hurtin’ on the Braves and remind them that they aren’t done just yet.

The beleaguered Nationals have been playing very well lately, going 25-10 since August 9th, which is an MLB best in that time span.  They haven’t, however, played so well against the Atlanta Braves this year.  In fact, the Braves have basically owned the Nationals this year, winning 12 of the 16 games they’ve played so far, and limiting the Nationals to a mere .205 team BA and an average of just 2.3 runs against the stout Braves’ rotation.

Taking the mound in game 1 for the Nationals will be Dan Haren (9-13, 5.02 ERA).  Dan has struggled this year, but has slowly improved, and will be hoping to have a good outing against the Atlanta Braves who has struggled recently to put together any consistent run production.  The Brave are just 6-8 so far during September, scoring 48 runs which averages out to a mere 3.4 runs per game.  That’s not awful, but will probably need to be better headed toward the playoffs.

Facing Haren in game 1 for the Atlanta Braves will be Mike Minor (13-7, 3.15 ERA).  Minor has been very good this year as his ERA and overall record indicate, but has struggled in more recent outings.  Mike has been prone to giving up home runs lately, allowing five in his last three starts, and giving up a whopping 3 homers in 5-2 loss to Miami recently where he allowed five runs and 11 hits over six innings overall.  He will be hoping to get back on track.

The Braves are hoping to clinch the NL East division, and can do so with at least 2 wins against the Washington Nationals in the series.  Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson has other ideas of course, and when asked about the Braves possible clinch, said…

We don’t want that.  We need to at least send a message these next three days that we’re better than them.

Probables

Sep 16, 2013 ATL (Minor) @ WSH (Haren)  Postponed 7:05 PM ET 
Sep 17, 2013 ATL (Minor – Day/Garcia – Night) @ WSH (Haren/Roark) 7:05 PM ET
Sep 18, 2013 ATL (Wood) @ WSH (Ohlendorf) 7:05 PM ET

Of Note

Veteran Freddy Garcia, normally working in relief, was called upon for one start this year for the Atlanta Braves, and is now 1-1, with a 1.32 ERA.  In that one start, Garcia put together six innings in a solid first start allowing no runs and striking out 3 batters.  Alex Wood (3-3, 3.45 ERA) was amazing for a young rookie in his first outings with the Atlanta Braves, but has struggled mightily in recent outings, going only 2.1 innings and allowing 7 earned runs on 8 hits on September 1, and then going only 4.2 innings and allowing 4 earned runs on 9 hits on September 7.  Manager Fredi Gonzalez has been giving Wood extra rest lately with hopes that an apparently tired arm will be better with his next outing on Wednesday.

Topics: Atlanta Braves, FanSided

Want more from Tomahawk Take?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.