Washington’s Nationals came into this series with a .285/.357/.480 line versus left-handed pitchers this season, good for 2nd/1st/2nd among National League teams, but had 7 hits, 0 runs vs Atlanta Braves’ lefties Max Fried and Dallas Keuchel, with Fried holding them to one hit last night in seven scoreless and Keuchel limiting the visiting team to six hits in six solid and scoreless innings on the mound in the second of four in SunTrust Park.
The Braves took last night’s series opener, 4-2, and beat the Nats again tonight with a 4-3 win that gave them 12 straight at home in Atlanta.
Corbin in ATL: Patrick Corbin was unbeaten in 12 outings between June 19th and August 21st (with a 2.12 ERA, 22 walks, 90 Ks, and a .217/.273/.337 line against in 76 1⁄3 IP in that stretch) before he took a loss in a start against the Baltimore Orioles in spite of giving up just two runs on four hits in a 2-0 win for the O’s. He bounced back from that outing with another strong appearance, holding the Miami Marlins to three runs on three hits over six innings in his last start before tonight’s in the second of four with the Braves in Atlanta.
Corbin had a 3.27 ERA, three walks, 13 Ks, and a .289/.327/.356 line against in 11 IP in his first two outings against the Braves this season, winning one, and receiving no decision in a loss in his first start against Atlanta as part of Washington’s rotation.
Corbin worked around a double and a walk in the first, and two doubles in the second, with help from a back-picking Yan Gomes behind the plate, but he left an 0-1 slider up for Ozzie Albies with one down in the third, and the Braves’ second baseman hit it out to center for a solo shot that made it 1-0 Atlanta.
Adam Duvall doubled off the brick wall in right to lead off the fifth, and Anthony Rendon booted a grounder to third off Dansby Swanson’s bat in the next AB, and one out later a Tyler Flowers’ sac fly brought Duvall in for a 2-0 lead.
Corbin set a season-high for walks when three consecutive two-out free passes in the fifth left him with six overall on the night, and loaded the basees, but he got a swinging K from Dansby Swanson for out No. 3 of a 26-pitch fifth inning that ended his outing after 107 total pitches...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 107 P, 63 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
Keuchel vs D.C.: Dallas Keuchel made his 2019 debut against the Nationals back on June 21st, giving up eight hits and four runs (three earned) in five innings of work in a 4-3 loss, and he faced the Braves’ NL East rivals again a month later, allowing four runs on six hits over 5 1⁄3 IP in what ended up a 6-3 loss. Both of those starts were in D.C.
Tonight, the lefty was taking on the Nationals in SunTrust Park, where he was (3-1) with a 2.38 ERA and a .220/.276/.310 line against in seven starts and 45 1⁄3 IP before tonight (as opposed to his 5.26 ERA and .310/.392/.561 line against in seven starts 39 1⁄3 innings on the road).
Keuchel worked his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the first, getting an inning-ending, rally-killing, 6-4-3 DP out of Ryan Zimmerman to end a 17-pitch frame, and he was up to 55 pitches total after four scoreless with a 1-0 lead.
Anthony Rendon walked to start the sixth, and Victor Robles reached on a pop to center with two out, but a Yan Gomes’ groundout got Keuchel through six scoreless on 94 total pitches, with 10 groundouts from 25 batters.
Dallas Keuchel’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 94 P, 59 S, 10/3 GO/FO.
RendOPB: With a single with two out in the first last night (which was the Nationals’ only hit off Braves’ left-hander Max Fried), Anthony Rendon extended his on-base streak to 21 games in a row, over which the 29-year-old was 37 for 86 (.430/.490/.779) with nine doubles, seven home runs, and 10 walks (vs 9 Ks) in 98 plate appearances.
Rendon was 0 for 2 against lefty Dallas Keuchel through five tonight, but he walked to start the sixth inning, extending his on-base streak to 22-straight games.
BULLPEN ACTION: Tanner Rainey took over for the Nats in the bottom of the 6th, and hit Tyler Flowers with one down, then gave up a single by Matt Joyce, and a single to center field by Ronald Acuña, Jr., but Victor Robles fielded Acuña’s hit and fired a strong (slightly wide) throw home to get Flowers as he tried to score from second, with Yan Gomes’ tag a slick one, and a pickoff at second got pinch runner Billy Hamilton for the third out of the inning.
Chris Martin came on for Atlanta in the top of the seventh and retired the Nationals in order.
Wander Suero gave up a one-out single by Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the seventh, then hit the Braves’ first baseman with a pickoff throw, allowing him to take second (E:1).
Josh Donaldson stepped in next and hit a 1-2 curve in on his hands into the stands in left for a two-run blast that made it 4-0 Atlanta. No. 35 for Donaldson.
I'm bringin' in the rain— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 7, 2019
Just bringin' in the rain! pic.twitter.com/8xpPM8QDwM
Luke Jackson gave up back-to-back singles by Howie Kendrick and Anthony Rendon in the first two at bats of the Nats’ eighth, and one out later, Ryan Zimmerman hit a 3-2 slider out to left for a no-doubter of a three-run blast that made it a one-run game. Zimmerman’s 5th.
Sean Newcomb took over and got the final two outs of the inning. Still 4-3 Braves.
Suero came back out for the bottom of the eighth, but was replaced after getting the first out of the inning.
Fernando Rodney took over for the Nationals and got two quick outs to send it to the ninth.
Shane Greene came on for the save opportunity with Mark Melancon unavailable, and set the side down in order to end it. 4-3 Braves.
Nationals now 78-62