Braves vs. Nationals Series Recap: Ho-Hum, Another Series Win

Rather than being the star of this series, Stephen Strasburg was pretty much just a sideshow. Sure, he pitched well, but he was overshadowed by Tim Hudson's dominant performance and Jair Jurrjens' excellent return to the rotation. Heck, Strasburg did not even put up the best pitching line on his own team, as Craig Stammen out-did him with a solid performance in game 2. In a series of good pitching performances, Strasburg was only 4th-best.

By the way, those of you who voted for "4+ runs" in the series-opening poll guessed correctly, as the Braves did indeed score four runs off of the phenom (though only three were earned, and two scored after he left the game).

It wasn't the most exciting series, but it was yet another series win for the Braves. They have now won or tied 15 of their last 16 series. Next up are the Marlins, followed by a crucial 6-game road trip against the Phillies and the Mets to finish up the first half. Win all 3 of those series, and we'll be sitting pretty in the division at the break.

Here are the links to the Talking Chop recaps of each game, along with links to each game's FanGraphs page:

Monday: Braves win 5-0 (TC Recap / FanGraphs Page)
Tuesday: Nationals win 7-2 (TC Recap  / FanGraphs Page)
Wednesday: Braves win 4-1 (TC Recap / FanGraphs Page)

Series Awards after the jump.

Series Awards

Braves' Pitching MVP
Tim Hudson-- 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 KK, 13/16 ground balls (81%), 0.420 WPA (by far the highest of the series)

Braves' Hitting MVPs
Martin Prado-- 3/10, BB, 2 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 SF, K, 0.170 WPA
Brian McCann-- 3/11, HBP, 2B, R, RBI, K, 0.054 WPA
Gregor Blanco-- 5/10, 3 R, RBI, K, GIDP, CS, Error, 0.004 WPA
Jair Jurrjens-- 1/2, RBI, K, 0.104 WPA
(Yeah, it was a pretty mild series for the Braves from a hitting perspective...)

Braves' Clutch Play
Prado tripling in the first run of game 2 (0.134 WPA)

Nationals' Pitching MVP
Craig Stammen-- 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 13/21 ground balls (62%), 0.166 WPA

Nationals' Hitting MVPs
Ryan Zimmerman-- 2/12, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K, GIDP, 0.203 WPA (one huge hit goes a long way)
Nyjer Morgan-- 3/12, BB, R, RBI, SB, 3 K, 0.052 WPA
(If you're wondering about Alberto Gonzalez, he did have 5 hits, but he also had a slightly negative WPA.)

Nationals' Clutch Play
Zimmerman hitting a 2-run, tie-breaking double in game 2 (0.248 WPA)

Series Unawards

Braves' Pitching LVP
Derek Lowe -- 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB (1 IBB), 5 K, 12/19 ground balls (63%), -0.266 WPA

Braves' Hitting LVPs
Melky Cabrera-- 2/10, HBP, BB, 2 2B, R, RBI, 0 K, -0.190 WPA (he did OK overall but sucked in key situations)
Troy Glaus-- 0/10, 2 BB, ROE, R, 2 K, GIDP, 0.001 WPA (this should be lower; he got credit for +0.106 for the ROE)

Braves' Unclutch Play
Melky grounding out with the bases loaded in game 2 (-0.106 WPA)

Nationals' Pitching LVP
J.D. Martin-- 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 4/19 ground balls (21%), -0.131 WPA (though he didn't pitch all that badly)

Nationals' Hitting LVPs
Ivan Rodriguez-- 3/12, BB, CS, K, GIDP, -0.199 WPA
Roger Bernadina-- 3/10, 2 BB, 2B, R, SB, 3 K, -0.157 WPA (surprising, huh?)
Adam Dunn-- 3/13, 2B, 5 K, -0.062 WPA

Nationals' Unclutch Play
Pudge grounding into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs in game 3 (-0.148 WPA)

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