Live Thread – Braves At Nationals – Game 1
It’s not often that there’s an afternoon game on a Friday for the Atlanta Braves, but today is an exception. I’m fortunate to have a day off work, but others will likely be angry they cannot watch, and still others will be angry they didn’t record it. Whatever your joys or sorrows, Atlanta will also experience one or the other of those emotions in the next three days as the Braves begin a series this afternoon in Washington against the Nationals at 1:00 PM EST.
In an almost carbon copy of comments and opinions from the start of the 2013 season, most pundits (including most of us at Tomahawk Take) are picking the Nationals to be the front-runner and the odds-on-favorite to lead the NL East this year and take the division when all is said and done. Remember though, they said that last year as well, and it was the Atlanta Braves winning 96 games and clinching the NL East. I’ll stop short of reminding you how that eventually turned out, but the Braves have always been resilient, and despite pitching rotation woes this season, I don’t expect the Nationals to just walk away with the NL East.
In my opinion, at least on paper, the Nationals have a better starting pitching rotation, but stats and profiles on paper don’t win games! David Hale will take the mound for the Atlanta Braves in game one of the series, and face off against a tough Jordan Zimmermann. Hale is intelligent, and while he may still be a work in progress in terms of his pitching repertoire, Hale has shown good command in the past, and came through when called upon. He will be tested today against a tough pitcher, and a tough Nationals lineup.
Other highlights in the series will be a marquee matchup between Julio Teheran (arguably the Braves’ best pitcher) and Stephen Strasburg. Despite the Braves struggles with injuries in the pitching rotation, the mix of veteran and youth has pitched pretty good so far, taking 2 of the 3 in their first series this season against the Milwaukee Brewers. Braves’ bats were cold at times, but then Milwaukee also brought good pitching to that series.
Get Caught Up, Then Join Us Live
Before today’s game and Live Thread, take a look at our own Brandon Woodworth’s Braves Vs. Nationals Series Preview for more particulars, and then at game time join us for our Live Thread below and join the conversation! We’ll be talking about things in the game, things out of the game, and we always welcome your thoughts and comments. Come help us root on our beloved Braves as they face their divisional nemesis.