Atlanta came into the series fresh off a series win against the division leading Phillies, and expected to keep the momentum going against the Nationals. Washington however, had other ideas and took two of three from the Braves in a three game set full of dramatics.
Even in a series that didn't go well for the Braves, there were some good things that happened. Here is the good, bad, and ugly from the series against the Nats.
Martin Prado - Prado had himself quite the series, and seems to be heating up at the top of the Braves lineup. For the series, he went 6-14 with 5 RBI's, 5 runs scored, and 2 homers while walking once and striking out only once. Prado's grand slam in the final game of the series was huge for Atlanta momentum wise,
Eric Hinske's catch in game two- Hinske was forced into duty in right field this series and performed admirably, hitting a homer and a double. His best moment of the series though was a running catch in the second game of the series. Hinske chased a Roger Bernadina fly ball a long long way and made the catch. Sure, a normal athletic right fielder makes the play easily, but seeing the big man Hinske chase it down and tailspin into the wall after it was hilarious and fun to watch.
Cory Gearrin - Gearrin faced four batters this series, and struck out all of them. He's simply been everything the Braves could have expected, and has shown he deserves to be up with the big club while Peter Moylan is out injured.
Cristhian Martinez - Martinez came in during the first game of the series, and pitched three scoreless innings that kept the Braves in the game. After not pitching in over two weeks, Martinez executed his role to perfection.
The bad and the ugly after the jump
Jason Heyward's injury - Heyward hasn't looked himself for a week or two now, and we now may know the reason why. Heyward came out of the first game of the series after feeling numbness in his hand and a sore shoulder that's bothered him since spring training. An MRI showed inflammation and he was given a cortisone shot, but the Braves can ill afford for Heyward to have lingering issues with his shoulder.
Alex Cora - What the heck did we do to you? Cora came in as a pinch hitter in the second game of the series, and hit the game tying single off of Craig Kimbrel that sent the game into extras, then got a hit that kept things going in the decisive 11th inning.
Wednesday's Craig Kimbrel - Kimbrel came in with a chance to close out the game and earn a save and instead got hit hard. He wasn't himself and the results showed it. 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K led to his third blown save of the year.
Scott Linebrink - Linebrink has been on tenuous ground among Braves fans since the season started, and he didn't gain any supporters with his dreadful performance in the 11th inning in the second game of the series. 1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER and the loss. Linebrink hasn't shown any improvement, and his days in Atlanta could be numbered.
Laynce Nix - The Nationals always play the Braves tough, and no National was tougher against Atlanta than Laynce Nix. For the series, Nix went 5-13 with 4 RBI's, 3 runs scored, a homer, a double, and a walk and came up in the clutch multiple times.
Braves defense- Three errors in three games and a couple of other plays that could have certainly been ruled errors. Defensive misplays behind Tim Hudson cost the Braves in the first game of the series and a Dan Uggla error in the finale of the series led to a Nationals run.