Both teams have won 7 of 10, and they’re both coming off losses, the Atlanta Braves two in a row, and the Washington Nationals in the second of two with the Baltimore Orioles in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
They are currently first and second in the NL East, with the Braves 6.5 up on the division’s second-place Nationals.
Davey Martinez’s squad has taken three of five from Brian Snitker’s team early in 2019.
Going into this long-weekend’s four-game series in SunTrust Park, the Nationals have won 31 of 44, while the Braves have won 30 of 46.
Unfortunately for the Nats, the start of last night’s game was delayed by 90 minutes, so the team ended up taking a late flight to Atlanta, GA, where they’ll start the series at 7:20 PM in SunTrust Park.
“We’ve got to get on that plane, get some rest, and turn around and go play the Braves,” Martinez said after last night’s 9-2 loss to the O’s. “I’ve got all the faith in the world these guys will be up for it and ready, so just today we didn’t hit the ball.
“We had one good opportunity, couldn’t get any big runs, but you know what, sometimes you’ve got to win the 2-1 games, and today we just didn’t do it.”
The Nationals went 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position and seven left on base in what was a 2-1 game in the seventh, before things went awry for the bullpen. Now they’ll try to bounce back from the loss in what’s the biggest series of the season so far as they see if they can keep rolling against a team that’s been every bit as hot as they’ve been over the last few weeks.
As big a series as it clearly is, Martinez said his squad is going in with the same approach they’ve taken to every game this season.
“More so than a series, let’s just focus on the game tomorrow,” he said.
“The Braves are ahead of us, I get it, we all get it, but let’s just worry about tomorrow, focus on tomorrow. I’ve said this before, we go 1-0 tomorrow and then we’ll go from there.”
HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE SERIES OPENER WITH THE BRAVES:
#Nats at #Braves 1 of 4 in SunTrust Park: Turner - SS; Eaton - RF; Rendon - 3B; Soto - LF; Zimmerman - 1B; Suzuki - C; Dozier - 2B; Robles - CF; Strasburg - RHP— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 18, 2019