Washington’s Nationals have lost three straight in Atlanta, four straight overall, and five of the last six, scuffling at exactly the wrong moment.
The Braves now have a 10.0 game lead in the NL East, though the Nationals are still atop the NL Wild Card standings (+2.0).
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez talked after last night’s game, a 5-4 loss in SunTrust Park, about the pressure of the stretch run.
“September, a lot of things go on,” Martinez said. “One, we’re in a pennant race. Two, it’s the last month, everyone is trying to put up numbers, but just hey, it takes the whole team, remember I said that, it takes everybody on the roster to participate and everybody’s got to do their job, and when we do that, we’re really good.”
They’ve been in the first three games of the series in Atlanta at the end, but haven’t won a game with their NL East rivals yet this weekend. Will they salvage one today?
Go read your links while you wait to find out...
Aaron Barrett gets emotional:
Barrett's triumphant return not enough as Nats fall again 5-4 - (MASN)
"Atlanta’s starters have been outstanding in the series, allowing just one earned run in 19 innings with 20 strikeouts and a 0.47 ERA."
Aaron Barrett on how he felt after completing the fifth inning earlier tonight: "After the outing was over I'm just walking off and all the emotions just hit me. Just ... you did it, man. You did it."— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) September 8, 2019
Barrett in tears after 1st appearance since '15 - (MLB.com)
"After the outing, an emotional Barrett, who lives just outside of Atlanta, broke down in the dugout and cried into a towel before being consoled by manager Dave Martinez."
Disaster in SunTrust:
Song remains the same as Nats come up short again in Atlanta - (WaPost)
"The Nationals then lost their fourth in a row, and they can be swept here by the Braves on Sunday. They have picked the wrong time to go in the wrong direction."
Nationals' skid comes at inopportune time - (MLB.com)
"The first three games in Atlanta have gone about as badly as the Nationals could have imagined, and after dropping Saturday’s contest at SunTrust Park, 5-4, they have lost four consecutive games and five of their past six."
Roenis Elías Grade 1 hamstring strain:
Nationals reliever Roenis Elías has a Grade 1 right hamstring strain - (WaPost)
"Roenis Elías will miss more time, maybe weeks, with the same injury that kept him out for most of August."
Elías MRI reveals grade 1 hamstring strain. Going to DC to get assessment from team doctor. Last time 3 weeks out. Davey says Elías little less sore this time— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) September 7, 2019
Davey Martinez on Eaton's return; Elías has Grade 1 strain (Nats lose 5-4) - (MASN)
"Martinez said getting feedback from Eaton last night on how he felt running during the game made him confident his regular right fielder could play a full nine innings tonight."
Nationals reliever sheds tears during emotional MLB return - (Yahoo!Sports)
"Aaron Barrett reminded us Saturday that there's no shame at all in shedding a few tears on the baseball field."
Aaron Barrett after first MLB appearance in over 4 years. pic.twitter.com/DR3kEVmTJO— Carol Maloney (@carolmaloney4) September 8, 2019
I’ll see you when I see you - (Mayflies & Big Flies)
"One last time to appreciate Luis Garcia’s infectious smile and joy for the game. One last time for me to slow-jam the floss during Dante Bichette’s walk-up song. One last time listening to Terry Byrom on the radio."
Diamondbacks now 1.5 games out of NL wildcard race - (Yahoo!Sports)
"The Diamondbacks have gone 11-1, with their most recent win a 2-0 victory over Cincinnati, and trail only the Washington Nationals and Chicago in the wildcard standings."
Stats, history point to deGrom winning NL Cy - (MLB.com)
"Scherzer has landed on the injured list two different times in the last two months, and he hasn't gone more than six innings in a start since before the All-Star Game."