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Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg vs The Atlanta Braves, But Not Jason Heyward?

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CLEVELAND - JUNE 13:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the game on June 13, 2010 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - JUNE 13: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the game on June 13, 2010 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Though Braves' second baseman Martin Prado, who leads the National League in hits (108) and AVG (.334) in 323 AB's, tells Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer David O'Brien in an article entitled, "Braves lose as Hanson again struggles mightily",  that facing Stephen Strasburg is no big deal, "To be honest with you, it's just another game, another pitcher...", his teammate and future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones says the Braves will be prepared for tonight's ESPN Monday Night Baseball broadcast against the ubiquitous Nats' starter: 

"'We'll come in and watch our film, [but] everybody in America has scouted him as much as he's been on TV,' he said. 'They're a team that's struggling right now. Hopefully we can get his pitch count up and get into the bullpen early.'"

One Brave who won't be in the lineup against Stephen Strasburg tonight, according to NBC Hardball Talk writer Craig Calcaterra in an article entitled, "Bummer: no Jason Heyward-Stephen Strasburg matchup tonight", who confirmed this morning what a few had predicted last week, is Jason Heyward. Strasburg, the top pitcher (ranked 2nd overall in MLB.com's preseason rankings)  and the no.1 position player and top ranked rookie, Jason Heyward will not face off tonight as many had anticipated due to a thumb injury which has bothered the Braves' rookie for some time now...Guess we'll have to settle for Stras vs Chipper...

Having completed their Interleague schedule, the Nats return to action against their NL East rivals tonight, (though I know no other teams or their fans consider the Nats rivals), playing an Atlanta Braves team that dropped two of three to the Nationals in the only series the two teams have played so far in 2010 on May 4-6 in DC. The Nats, who finished Interleague action by dropping three-straight to the Orioles, leaving them 5-13 against AL teams, are 12-11 against the other NL East teams this season, though they're also 13-27 on the road which doesn't bode well for this three-game trip to Atlanta. Strasburg and Braves' right-hander Tim Hudson are on the mound in Turner Field at 7:05 pm EST tonight...

• One More Note: The Nats' got a quick mention in Boston Globe writer Nick Carfado's weekly Sunday baseball news roundup entitled, "Baylor is feeling skipped over in managerial mix", where Mr. Carfado reports that the Nats were one of five teams that had scouts out watching one of the D-Backs' starters last week: 

 

"1. Dan Haren, RHP, Diamondbacks — Scouts from the Yankees, Twins, Nationals, Cardinals, and Tigers all came out to watch his last start..."

In Rizzo We Trust....