So there really isn't anything new with the Nationals. They continue to be bad, and have lost 7 out of 10. They foolishly didn't trade Dunn nor Willingham at the trade deadline, even though they could've gotten a boatload of young talent for either guy. They did trade away Matt Capps, but he was over-performing anyways. Wilson Ramos could be good in a few seasons, but he doesn't really play as of right now.
Oh, and they still have Rob Dibble. Damn.
There are quite a few big stories for the Braves during the serious though. On Tuesday, Mike Minor will make his 2nd start of his big league career. In case you missed his debut, don't let the numbers fool you for one second. Minor looked very good and composed on the mound, and the Astros just got ridiculously lucky with four bloop hits. To be honest, they only hit one ball hard the entire night. I know I'm really looking forward to seeing Mike make another start.
Another big story is the return of Martin Prado. Now it's not official, but reports have Martin ready to come off the DL as early as Tuesday. He went 1-for-4 in his rehab assignment on Monday, and I'm guessing he'll be playing 3rd base when he returns.*
*This is assuming Frank Wren doesn't turn Braves Country into a frenzy with the acquisition of an over-paid veteran like Aramis Ramirez. If this really happens, well, maybe Frank Wren isn't the man to lead this franchise.
Anyways, let's get onto the Nats stats:
Runs: 477 (14th)
BA: .255 (11th)
OBP: .321 (13th)
SLG: .400 (10th)
HR: 112 (9th)
SB: 88 (3rd)
BB/K: 0.41 (12th)
You know the Nats. Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham are all very good. Nyjer Morgan is fast, but that's about it. Ian Desmond kills the Braves. Pudge is a solid catcher, but has fallen off since the 1st half. And they don't have much besides that. With the way our starters have been pitching, I'm not really too worried about the series.
Much more after the jump...
ERA: 4.50 (14th)
FIP: 4.29 (12th)
xFIP: 4.49 (14th)
BAA: .282 (15th)
K/9: 5.56 (15th)
BB/9: 3.06 (5th)
WHIP: 1.45 (14th)
So yeah, they're still not very good and the Braves will miss Strasburg in the series. The Braves will see Scott Olsen in game 1, and it seems like he always dominates us. The truth is that Olsen really isn't all that great, and something has to give eventually. The ageless Livan Hernandez will pitch in the 2nd game and he's been pretty good this season. John Lannan will pitch in the finale, and he'll tear the Braves up...if we're not patient. That shouldn't be a problem though, and I think the Braves match up favorably in every game.
ERA: 3.58 (4th);
FIP: 3.80 (5th)
xFIP: 4.18 (5th)
BAA: .246 (4th)
K/9: 8.17 (7th)
BB/9: 3.71 (5th)
WHIP: 1.33 (5th)
Now keep in mind that Matt Capps' numbers are inflating these stats a bit, but the Nats have still been a very solid bunch coming out of the bullpen. Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett and closer Drew Storen are all very good and will anchor the bullpen for at least a few seasons. Guys like Joel Peralta and LOOGY Doug Slaten have also been solid for the Nats, and we all saw long-man Miguel Batista dominate the Braves in his spot-start against us a few weeks ago. After having the worst 'pen in the league for a while, you really have to tip your cap to the Nationals for putting together a strong bullpen. It should be good for quite a while.
|2010 - Scott Olsen||3-4||11||11||0||0||0||0||56.1||65||34||32||7||19||37||5.11||1.49|
|2010 - Mike Minor||0-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||6.0||5||4||3||0||1||5||4.50||1.00|
|2010 - Livan Hernandez||8-8||26||24||2||1||0||0||157.2||149||57||54||10||48||83||3.08||1.25|
|2010 - Tim Hudson||14-5||25||24||1||0||0||0||164.2||123||40||39||10||54||89||2.13||1.07|
|2010 - John Lannan||4-5||17||17||0||0||0||0||93.0||120||61||54||8||39||34||5.23||1.71|
|2010 - Derek Lowe||11-10||26||25||0||0||0||0||147.0||155||72||70||13||53||93||4.29||1.41|
In my opinion, this is a must-win series for the Braves, and a sweep certainly isn't out of the question. We'll be getting a big boost with the return of Martin Prado, and the Braves have ben un-real at home. We're a very good team, and the Nationals aren't. Combine this with the Phillies having a very tough series against the Giants, and we could really use these next few days to put some room between us and Philly.