• Garrett Mock - (4.0 IP, 1 wind-aided HR allowed, 4 hits, 2 ER total, 2 K's, 0 BB) got bailed out of a two-on, two-out jam in the 1st when Pudge Rodriguez alertly threw to second on a run-scoring single to right by Melky Cabrera, cutting off Elijah Dukes' throw home to catch Cabrera at second and end the Braves' rally at two first-inning runs. Mock retired the next nine batters he faced, striking out two and popping up all but one of the rest as he pretty-much cemented a role in the Nats' twenty-ten starting rotation...right? And that curve?
• We also saw Drew Storen sweat for the first time? And react accordingly. After two Braves threw their bats at decent pitches, Storen refused to let Braves' starter Derek Lowe bunt, eventually forcing the K from the opposing pitcher. Storen got a weak grounder out of Nate McLouth for the second out of the inning, but gave up a two-run single to Martin Prado, who ripped a grounder up the middle of the infield to score both runners. Storen then issued a two-out walk to Jason Heyward, but the 22-year-old right-hander was out of the inning when he got ATL catcher Brian McCann to ground out to short, only to have Adam Dunn drop the throw and allow the Braves to load the bases. Storen's response? Three-straight strikes to Yunel Escobar and an abrupt end to his first encounter with adversity.
• Positives, positives? Shairon Martis' two calm, collected scoreless innings in middle relief, hinting...Tyler Walker threw a scoreless frame in relief, though he did walk one...Positives...Matt Capps came on and well...as one person in the game thread pointed out, at least we know the wind coming in from right had died down some...Capps gave up an absolute bomb of a home run to Joe Thurston that finally came down well out of sight of the tv cameras, but it was the only hit Capps allowed.
For the Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 0-11 in games that don't matter.
The Atlanta Braves began their night with Nate McLouth grounding out to Adam Kennedy at second base. Washington right-hander Garrett Mock threw a 2-0 fastball to the next batter, Martin Prado, and gave up a line drive home run to left that sailed right over the low wall for a 1-0 Braves lead over the Nationals. Mock jammed Jason Heyward with a 2-2 fastball inside, but the broken bat roller's spin on the grass made it unplayable for either Mock or the Nats' first baseman Adam Dunn. Brian McCann flew out to right center for Justin Maxwell on a 1-1 pitch. Ian Desmond got to a ground ball up the middle by Yunel Escobar, holding Heyward at second. Melky Cabrera ripped a grounder through second, scoring Heyward ahead of Elijah Dukes' throw, but Pudge Rodriguez caught Melky getting greedy and caught Dukes' throw up the line, firing to Ian Desmond at second to get Cabrera. 2-0 Braves...Justin Maxwell's groundout started the home half of the frame. Yunel Escobar dropped Ian Desmond's grounder, but still got the throw to first in time. Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging over a slider to end the first. Derek Lowe owns the Nationals.
Eric Hinske popped out to Ian Desmond in short left for a quick first out. Omar Infante was completely fooled by a looping 2-2 curve from Mock. Derek Lowe took a 3-1 fastball for a short ride to Ian Desmond, to Adam Dunn, still 2-0 Braves. Adam Dunn hit a sharp grounder to second for Lowe's fourth out in a row. Elijah Dukes took a 2-2 sinker that started outside, but broke back in for a called strike three. Adam Kennedy gets the same sinker and gets punched out to end the second.
Nate McLouth hit a long fly ball on a full-count heater from Mock, but Justin Maxwell had room to make the catch just short of the warning track. Garrett Mock's 1-2 curve fooled both Martin Prado and the Umpire, but the 2-2 curve was a correctly called strike three. Jason Heyward was swinging 3-0 for some reason, and he popped out to short to end the top of the third...Pudge Rodriguez was swinging at a 1-0 pitch from Lowe and he rolled it out to second for the first out of the Nationals' third. Eric Hinske closed his glove too soon and had Martin Prado's throw bounce by first on a routine grounder from Roger Bernadina. Mock bunted Bernadina to second. Maxwell K'd chasing a nasty bender and Lowe's got three more scoreless against the Nats.
The Braves' Brian McCann lined out to center on a 2-2 fastball from Mock. Yunel Escobar ripped a 2-0 pitch from Mock toward third, but Ryan Zimmerman plays there and he had it. Melky Cabrera gave Elijah Dukes some work, fly ball, three outs, Mock through four, down 2-0...Ian Desmond grounds out to Yunel Escobar at short. Ryan Zimmerman chases a 1-2 sinker that falls outside. Adam Dunn gets another one of Lowe's moving fastballs, 2-2 and inside for a called strike three.
Eric Hinske threw his bat at a 3-2 fastball from Drew Storen and singled into right center. Omar Infante punched the second straight single through the infield. Derek Lowe battled Storen and eventually K'd trying to bunt both runners over. Nate McLouth rolled a weak grounder toward first that Storen fielded and tossed to Dunn. Martin Prado ripped a grounder right back up the middle of the infield to score two runs, 4-0 Atlanta. A low 94 mph 1-1 fastball to Jason Heyward got by Pudge allowing Prado to take second. Storen walked Heyward. Brian McCann got a two-on, two-out chance. Drew Storen got a ground ball from McCann to short, Desmond threw it to first and Dunn, dropped it. McCann safe. Bases loaded. Storen gets angry and gets Yunel Escobar swinging to end the inning...Elijah Dukes starts the Nats' fifth with a groundout to short. Braves' lefty JoJo Reyes gives up the first Nationals' hit of the night when Adam Kennedy doubles off the wall in left field. Pudge Rodriguez singles up the middle to the left of second, scoring Kennedy to make it 4-1 Braves. Roger Bernadina lines out to Prado at second. Wil Nieves gets jammed and grounds out to second to end the fifth.
Shairon Martis is pitching for his major league life in the sixth. A leadoff walk to Melky Cabrera is not a good start. Eric Hinske grounds to first, Dunn fields, steps on first and throws to second, double play. Omar Infante grounds out to end a quick scoreless frame for Martis...JoJo Reyes comes back out for the sixth. Justin Maxwell grounds sharply to second. Ian Desmond flies out to left. Ryan Zimmerman rips a line drive to center, Gregor Blanco grabs it coming in...still 4-1 Braves.
Brooks Conrad rolls over a fastball from Martis and grounds out to first. Gregor Blanco reaches first safely on an infield single that Adam Kennedy can't barehand. Martis pops up Brooks Conrad. Brent Clevlen pops up to the infield and Martis finishes a quick scoreless sixth...Adam Dunn lines out to left. Elijah Dukes faces former Yankees' prospect Michael Dunn. Dukes uses his Discerning Eye to draw a one-out walk. Mike Morse hits for Martis. Morse grounds to third and Infante and Conrad combine for the inning-ending DP.
Tyler Walker takes over in the eighth. Ian Desmond backs up to catch a pop fly off Orlando Mercado. Mitch Jones up for the Braves. One-out walk by the unfortunately surnamed Walker. Matt Young, the left fielder apparently, grounds out to Morse at first. Freddie Freeman grounds back to the mound, Walker steps and throws to first...Jeff Lyman will pitch the eighth for Atlanta. Roger Bernadina rips a line drive to right to start the inning. Wil Nieves rips a grounder by third, Bernadina takes third before the throw comes in. Nieves to second. J-Max K's chasing a 2-2 change into the dirt. Ian Desmond K's looking at a fastball inside for a called strike three. Willie Harris with two on, two out. Wild pitch gets away from Mercado, Bernadina scores, 4-2 Braves. Harris pops up foul of third to end the inning.
Matt Capps leaves a fastball up and out to Joe Thurston and it's GONE!! WAY OUT to right and over Dukes' head. HR, 5-2 Braves. Gregor Blanco up after Brooks Conrad flies to right. Gregor Blanco walks but gets double up on a ground ball out from Brandon Hicks...Mariano Gomez on the mound for Atlanta. Pete Orr sneaks a single into short left. Elijah Dukes gets punched out when he can't hold up on two-strike junk from Gomez. Adam Kennedy grounds back into Gomez's glove, and he starts the game-ending DP with a throw to second. Ballgame. Braves win, 5-2 final. Nationals now 0-11.