Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Series Preview

LOLNATINALS

The Braves were able to put a long losing streak behind them, and will kick off June with a six-game road trip starting in Washington against the first-place Nationals. Atlanta suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Nats during that miserable stretch in which the Nats scored 22 runs against Braves pitching, but Davey Johnson's team will be returning home having just been swept themselves while in Miami, scoring just seven runs. Despite getting swept, they still lead all of MLB with a 3.01 team ERA, but have scored just 192 runs, the fourth lowest total in the NL. The Nationals hold a slim half-game lead over second place in the division and a two-game lead over the Braves. They are 15-8 at home with a 3.12 ERA at Nationals Park this year. The Braves have not fared too well in DC since the park opened in 2008, winning just 14 of the 36 previous games there with a collective 4.10 ERA.

This series will also mark the major-league debut of shortstop Andrelton Simmons. A native of Curaçao, Simmons is best known for his glove more than his bat, but he hit .292 in 43 games for Mississippi with a .372 OBP, and sports a .299 avg. in 236 minor league games. That being said, he was recalled more for his defense than for his hitting; any production with the bat would be a bonus. He will swap places with Tyler Pastornicky for the time being, who had been described as "hyper" on defense with falling offensive production, recording only four hits in his last 28 at-bats (.143).

The Braves will see Strasburg and Gonzalez again in this series just like they did in Atlanta, but will see Jordan Zimmermann for the first time this year. Zimmermann is winless in five home starts this year despite a respectable 3.34 ERA. Randall Delgado will be in the bullpen for this series. If he is used at all, his next scheduled start will be pushed back. If not, he will make his next start.

Pitching matchups and roster after the jump.

Friday June 1, 7:05 p.m. ET

Mike Minor

#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

210

R

L

Dec 26, 1987

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Mike Minor 2-4 10 10 0 0 0 0 58.0 64 47 45 13 21 51 6.98 1.47

Stephen Strasburg

#37 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals

6-4

220

R

R

Jul 20, 1988

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Stephen Strasburg 5-1 10 10 0 0 0 0 58.0 47 20 17 4 17 70 2.64 1.10


Saturday June 2, 4:05 p.m. ET

Brandon Beachy

#37 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

215

R

R

Sep 03, 1986

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Brandon Beachy 5-3 10 10 1 1 0 0 66.0 43 19 13 4 19 51 1.77 0.94

Gio Gonzalez

#47 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals

6-0

205

R

L

Sep 19, 1985

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Gio Gonzalez 7-1 10 10 0 0 0 0 61.2 33 14 14 1 25 79 2.04 0.94


Sunday June 3, 1:35 p.m. ET

Tommy Hanson

#48 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-6

220

R

R

Aug 28, 1986

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Tommy Hanson 5-4 11 11 0 0 0 0 61.0 62 27 26 7 26 57 3.84 1.44

Jordan Zimmermann

#27 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals

6-2

220

R

R

May 23, 1986

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jordan Zimmermann 3-5 10 10 0 0 0 0 64.1 59 22 20 7 11 44 2.80 1.09


NATIONALS BULLPEN

L - Sean Burnett
R - Tyler Clippard
L - Tom Gorzelanny
R - Ryan Perry
R - Henry Rodriguez
R - Craig Stammen

EXPECTED STARTERS

C - Jesus Flores
1B - Adam LaRoche
2B - Danny Espinosa
3B - Ryan Zimmerman
SS - Ian Desmond
LF - Steve Lombardozzi
CF - Rick Ankiel
RF - Bryce Harper

BENCH

OF - Roger Bernadina
OF - Corey Brown
C - Carlos Maldonado
OF/1B - Xavier Nady
C - Jhonatan Solano

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