courtesy of philliefan99
It was plain and simple at Nationals Park on Thursday night — the Atlanta Braves out hit the Washington Nationals to secure a 3-0 victory in game one of a very important four-game series in D.C. The two teams are currently fighting for the top spot in the National League East and not even a strong performance from right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann could slow down Atlanta.
Zimmermann pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out six batters and walking one on 97 pitches (64 strikes). The biggest blemish of the night for Zimmermann came in the fourth inning when a string of four consecutive one-out singles hit by the heart of the Braves’ batting order yielded two runs, thereby giving them a lead to hold onto for the duration of the night.
A strong performance by Atlanta’s right-handed starting pitcher Gavin Floyd contributed greatly to the Nats lack of offensive success. Floyd was unfortunately pulled from the game in the top of the seventh inning with posterior swelling in his right below but Washington’s lineup didn’t manage to get anything cooking against Atlanta’s pitching staff.
Washington’s three hits came from second baseman Danny Espinosa in the third inning (leadoff single), outfielder Denard Span in the sixth inning (two-out double), and outfielder Jayson Werth (leadoff double). That was it.
Atlanta would score once more in the eighth inning off of left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins when third baseman Chris Johnson hit a RBI-single to send first baseman Freddie Freeman home.
The Nats’ bullpen kept the Braves quiet otherwise but Washington will need to figure out how to either beat this Atlanta team. If not, the struggle to stay in first place won’t be too pleasant.