Rookie Luis Atilano, who was a former Braves first round pick, had the first shaky start of his major league career Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves (12-15). The start ended up costing the Nationals (14-13) to fall behind early in the run count during the night’s contest.
The true contest of the rookies was never realized due to Braves Outfielder Jason Heyward, who is now listed as day-to-day, leaving the game after the top of the 2nd inning with an injured groin.
What we did see was a Nats team with some bite to them. There were four ties and five lead changes over the course of this extra-inning game, giving the Nats plenty of time to swing their bats.
Nyjer Morgan recorded his 11th multi-hit game of the season finishing the night going 3-for-5 with 2 doubles and a run scored. Ian Desmond (.310 avg) continues to shine from not only a defensive standpoint but from the batter’s box having homered for the 2nd time in as many nights.
If it weren’t for John Willingham with the RBI-single during the bottom of the 8th, Nats fans wouldn’t have had the luxury of seeing the game go past 9 innings and taking the loss early. Between Morgan, Desmond, Willingham, and Pudge these Nats have heavy bats during this Braves series.
The extra-inning affair was no cake walk though. The Nats were 0-2 in extra-inning games going into last night, where as the Braves were 1-2. Unfortunately, the Nats active offense was out-played by the Braves ability to knock runs in late in the game.
What was truly heartbreaking about this particular game wasn’t the 10th inning loss. It was watching the untouchable record that was Matt Capps’ pitching line go from 11 consecutive saves to 11 consecutive saves and a loss. Matt Diaz singled off Capps, who pitched a 1-2-3 in the 9th, to drive in the game winning run.
Scott Olsen (2-1, 4.35) is scheduled to pitch against Tim Hudson (2-1, 2.87) tonight at 7:05 to finish the series which is tied at 1-1.