In one of the most exciting back and forth games of Atlanta’s season the Braves topped the Nationals 11-10 Monday night. A previously struggling Braves offense managed to bust through and damage Nats starter Stephen Strasburg early on in the game. Strasburg was 2-0 against the Braves before allowing 6 runs in 5 innings Monday night. Against most teams 6 runs would be enough, but against the division rival Nationals the Braves needed a late inning rally to seize the win.
It was the first inning when Atlanta struck first, an opposite field blast by Nick Markakis plated two and was Nick’s 2nd homer of the year. Next batter up Matt Kemp hit a line drive homer to left center on a 3-2 count. Here it is in case you missed it: http://m.mlb.com/atl/video/v1491087883/atlwsh-kemp-homers-for-backtoback-jacks-in-1st/?affiliateId=clubMEGAMENU
An RBI single and a Trea Turner solo home run in the bottom half of the first left the game 3-2 after 1 inning.
The Nats did not stop scoring as they went on to plate runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings. Of course, Braves killer Bryce Harper was a part of this, Bryce ambushed the first pitch of the 4th inning by Foltynewicz for a solo shot.
Matt Adams’ 3 run HR back in the 3rd was the reason the Braves were only down 3 after 4 innings of play.
With the Nationals leading 9-6 the game stalled through innings 5-7 which were scoreless by both teams. Freeman pitched the 5th and Hursh faced one less than the minimum in innings 6 and 7 for the Braves. A strong outing by both relievers which could lead to them seeing more time in upcoming games.
It was the 8th inning when Adams hit a solo home run bringing the game closer to 9-7. Adams took part in 2 of the total 5 home runs that were hit Monday night. He finished the night 3-4 with 4 RBI’s. Later in the 8th Ender Inciarte hit a sac fly that pulled Atlanta even closer to 9-8.
It was the top of the 9th with one out and runners on first and second that Tyler Flowers became the hero. A 3 run opposite field home run lifted the Braves to victory.
With one last chance for the Nationals in the bottom of the 9th inning down 11-9, they managed to put up only 1 run. A big scare occurred when Bryce Harper was in the box with two outs and a runner on and the lead for Atlanta only 1. Every Braves fan across the country let out a huge exhale as Harper lined out to Inciarte to end the game. Jim Johnson got his 13th save of the year and Jason Motte received the win after pitching a scoreless 8th.
This was only the 2nd time since 2015 that the Braves defeated Washington in Nationals Park. Ironically, it was Foltynewicz and Strasburg that started the other game back in 2015.
Folty did not pitch well for the Braves giving up 8 runs on 11 hits in just 3.1 innings. The Braves bullpen did a fantastic job picking him up. The Nationals bullpen is a completely different story and has struggled mightily this year. The bullpen is perhaps the only reason the Nationals aren’t atop the Astros with the best record in baseball.
Coming up Tuesday the Braves get a chance to win the series with R.A. Dickey on the mound. Dickey is coming off his best outing where he recorded a season high 8 strikeouts. He will be facing off with Joe Ross who is also coming off his best outing. Ross struck out 12 and allowed 1 run in 7 in one third innings his last time out. The game with be played Tuesday evening with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.