National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, June 1st
(All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (28-27) at Atlanta Braves (32-22), 7:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.90)
Atlanta - Tim Hudson (4-4, 5.37)
(Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals seemed to dodge a bullet in
Friday's opener with the Atlanta Braves. Now, they'll try to take the series
against the National League East leaders when they play the middle contest of
the three-game set at Turner Field on Saturday.
Already without superstar Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg left the Nationals'
3-2 win on Friday with an apparent oblique strain. The hard-throwing righty
appeared to wince after throwing a pitch at one point during the second frame.
He tossed 23 of his 37 pitches for strikes.
"I definitely could've pitched through it," Strasburg said. "Davey didn't want
to take the chance. We just have to be proactive about it, get the treatment
so hopefully I'll be able to make the next start."
The combination of Craig Stammen (3-1), Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen and Rafael
Soriano surrendered just a run on two hits and a walk over the final seven
Julio Teheran (3-2) struck out nine, but allowed three runs on seven hits and
a walk over 6 2/3 innings for Atlanta, which has dropped four of its last six
Freeman smacked a solo homer and added an RBI single in defeat for the Braves,
who still hold a 4 1/2-game edge on the Nats in the division.
Harper, meanwhile, missed his fifth straight game with bursitis in his left
knee on Friday and manager Davey Johnson indicated that he would likely sit
the entire series.
"We've got to try to figure out whether he needs more rest or what we have to
do to get him by that," said Johnson.
That's good news for Atlanta starter Tim Hudson, who has lost his last three
decisions after winning four of his first five to start the season. Hudson was
hit hard in a loss to Toronto on Monday, as he allowed six runs and eight hits
in six innings to fall to 4-4 on the year to go along with a 5.37 ERA.
Hudson beat the Nats earlier in the year and is an impressive 16-5 lifetime
against them with a 2.55 ERA in 28 starts.
Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez hasn't been as fortunate against the Braves, as
he is a mere 2-4 in six starts against them with a 6.75 ERA.
But like Hudson, the 21-game winner from a year ago is also in a bit of a funk
entering Saturday's start. He's winless in four starts and gave up four runs
in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to Baltimore on Monday. Gonzalez also walked four
batters in that one and is 3-3 on the year with a 3.90 ERA.
The Braves will also host Pittsburgh on their homestand and have taken five of
seven meetings with Washington this season. Atlanta is 9-3 in the last 12
matchups with the Nationals.
06/01 10:30:42 ET