One of the best rivalries in baseball – the Atlanta Braves visit the Washington Nationals for a four game series in Washington, DC…The Nats are 1.5 games up on the Braves in the NL East heading into the series with a 37-33 record compared to the Braves 36-35 record.
But don’t fret, the Braves play the Nats extremely well. Atlanta leads the series 18-7 since 2013 and this season ATL is 5-1 against their rivals.
“These guys are in first place,” said Chris Johnson. “It’s a little different situation than what we’ve been in during last year and earlier this year…they are playing really well. They have a great team. We have to step up, we have to come in here and try to win the series.”
The Nats are 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Braves are 4-6 and most recently swept by the Phillies.
“Knowing that we play good against these guys is a good thing,” Andrelton Simmons said. “It’s a comfortable feeling but we have to get out there and do it again. We need to win these games and the series. It’s a pretty big series and we need to make up what we lost these last couple games.”
The Braves clubhouse is talking about winning the series, lets start with game one….and in game one the Braves will be missing a key component to their roster for at least one game.
Justin Upton left the game Tuesday night after the 6th inning with dizziness. It was an extremely hot night and this could have gotten to him but reported by David O’Brien earlier today that Justin has some sort of inner-ear ailment. The Braves trainers don’t believe it’s an infection and maybe just some fluid but strange.
When asked if he’s ever dealt with anything like this before he responded with…
“No, not really but you run into things throughout your career that you have to deal with so we’ll see what happens.”
When he was asked how he was doing Upton responded with…
“I’m better, getting better but I’m still taking it day by day to see how things go.”
The Braves will need Upton back into the lineup as not only is he a key element to the Braves but he also bats really well at this part. He has a slash line of .299/.364/.517 at Nationals Park with five home runs. Hopefully we’ll see him in the lineup tomorrow.
“Still a lot of ball to be played, we have a long season so you can’t put too much pressure on these four games but they do mean something,” Justin Upton said. “We’ll go out and try to take as many as we can.”
Not a huge fan of Upton’s comments about “you can’t put too much pressure on these four game…” well heck yes we can! Every game should matter and that should be in everyone’s brain thoughts!
Atlanta fans hate the free-swinging approach the Braves have at the plate…could there be talk on a change with the approach???
“We got to really take advantage of getting guys on, getting over and getting them in,” said Johnson. “We can’t rely too much on the home run or the one swing approach.”