WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 22: Paul Janish #4 of the Atlanta Braves attempts to turn a double play as Stephen Lombardozzi #1 of the Washington Nationals slides into second base during a game at Nationals Park on July 22, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
• TKCHZ!! [CHOMP!] ETC.: Ian Desmond is on the bench, out of the lineup with the same oblique issue that's been bothering him for weeks. Jesus Flores' back keeps stiffening up on him, so he's sitting today too. Bryce Harper's hobbling around the outfield grass in Nationals Park on a swollen and sore left ankle. Atlanta's players are no-doubt banged up too by this point in the season, on the road in late July. Washington Nationals' lefty Ross Detwiler, who watched last night as the pitcher he beat out for a spot in the rotation this past Spring dominated the Braves in what ended up a 5-2 Nats' win, came out firing sinkers in his fourteenth start, retiring the first three batters he faced in order in an eight-pitch opening frame.
Nationals' leadoff man Steve Lombardozzi hit the second pitch Atlanta's right-hander Jair Jurrjens threw in the bottom of the inning for a leadoff single to right. Harper grounded into a force at second in the next at bat, but beat the the throw to first to avoid the double play. Ryan Zimmerman stepped in with a runner on and one out and crushed a 2-2 change that went out to right field, over the out-of-town scoreboard into the stands for a two-run home blast and a 2-0 Nats' lead. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Michael Morse singled in the next AB, then hustled around to score on a double to right-center by Danny Espinosa. The Nats' shortstop connected for his 23rd double and took third when the Braves threw home trying to catch Morse. Roger "The Shark" Bernadina then knocked Espinosa in with a two-out RBI single to right that made it 4-0 Nationals after an inning in Nats Park.
• TKCHZ AGAIN!: A first-pitch fastball to Chipper Jones went back up the middle for a leadoff single in Atlanta's second, but Ross Detwiler retired the next three batters in order in what ended up a 12-pitch frame. Bryce Harper flew out to right to strand Steve Lombardozzi at first at the end of a 16-pitch second by Jair Jurrjens. Detwiler set three Braves in a row down on 18 pitches in the third pushing his total to 41 pitches overall on the afternoon. Five pitches into the Nats' third it was a 5-0 game after Ryan Zimmerman hit his second home run in two at bats to add to the Nationals' lead over Atlanta. Zimmer--- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!
Zim's 14th HR of 2012. Michael Morse followed with an opposite field double and a groundout by Adam LaRoche moved him up so a Danny Espinosa single could score him from third and make it 6-0 Nationals with one out in the third. Braves' lefty Luis Avilan took over for Jurrjens, allowing an infield single by Roger Bernadina and a double steal that put both runners in scoring position with one down, but Atlanta's lefty reliever stranded both runners when he popped up Sandy Leon and retired the opposing pitcher. 6-0 Nats after three.
• A,B,C Easy As, 1-2-3: Martin Prado and Chipper Jones hit leadoff and one-out singles, respectively, for the Braves' second and third hits of the game off Ross Detwiler. A hard-hit single to right by Freddie Freeman was hit too hard for Prado to test Bryce Harper's arm, so the bases were loaded for Brian McCann, who hit one right back to the mound to start a 1-2-3 inning-ending DP. 4.0 scoreless for Detwiler after a 12-pitch frame. 53 pitches overall. Luis Avilan threw a quick, 16-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the inning. Ross Detwiler retired the first two batters on four pitches before surrendering a single by the opposing pitcher in the Braves' fifth. A groundout to first by Michael Bourn ended the top of the inning after 10 pitches, however, with Detwiler up to 63 pitches overall.
• How Are Things On the Left Side: Michael Morse singled to right to start the fifth then took third on Danny Espinosa's double to left-center. Second double of the game for Espinosa, 24th this year. After falling behind Roger Bernadina, Luis Avilan walked the Shark to load the bases for Sandy Leon and the Nats' 23-year-old rookie catcher lined to left to drive two runs in and make it an 8-0 game after five innings in D.C. Martin Prado singled and Jason Heyward doubled to start the Braves' sixth with runners on second and third for Chipper Jones. The Nats' 26-year-old lefty got the Braves' 40-year-old veteran swinging at a 1-2 fastball outside for out no.1, but a high heater to Freddie Freeman from Detwiler hit the top of Leon's mitt and got by home, allowing Prado to score to make it 8-1. A Freeman groundout brought Heyward in to make it 8-2, but Detwiler completed the top of the sixth without further damage.
• Bo Knows: Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back singles off Braves' right-hander Anthony Varvaro to start the Nats' sixth, but Harper (sent by third base coach Bo Porter) got thrown out by Jason Heyward trying to score from second on a sharp line drive single to right by Adam LaRoche. Two on, two out for Danny Espinosa, who walked to load the bases in front of the Shark, whose infield single off Varvaro's glove brought Zimmerman in to make it 9-2 Nats.
• Det Is A 1st Rounder: Ross Detwiler came back out for the seventh, giving up a leadoff walk in an eight-pitch at bat with Dan Uggla before retiring the next three Braves in order to end a 21-pitch frame at 98 pitches overall. Detwiler's Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's, 98 P, 64 S, 9/4 GO/FO. Bryce Harper reached on an error in a scoreless bottom of the seventh by Braves' lefty Jonny Venters. Craig Stammen took over for Detwiler in the eighth, giving up a one-out single by Jason Heyward but nothing else in a 16-pitch 8th. Jonny Venters returned for the bottom of the frame holding the Nationals off the board. 18 hits total for the Nats today. Three doubles, two home runs, 5 for 13 w/ RISP. Eric Hinske flew to center for the first out of the ninth. Stammen got Dan Uggla swinging for out no.2 and got Paul Janish swinging to end it. 9-2 win to earn the split. Sound the sub horn. Nats win.
• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON!! W00T!!
Nationals now 55-39.