Series Recap: Braves at Nationals

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It went a lot like the previous three did.

13 games is a long time. It's basically two weeks long. The Braves have a 13-game winning streak. That means they haven't lost in basically two weeks. That's just ridiculous. Two weeks.

This series wasn't a dominant sweep like the one against the Colorado Rockies, but the Braves managed to take three straight from a division rival. In the first game, Mike Minor couldn't outlast Stephen Strasburg, but the Braves bullpen was better than the Nationals' as Tyler Clippard gave up to the go-ahead home run to Justin Upton. Tuesday seemed quite similar as Gio Gonzalez outlasted Julio Teheran, but Teheran only gave up one run to Gio's two, which made all the difference. And yesterday's game saw a strong start from Kris Medlen, and while Medlen gave up 3 runs, the Braves managed to score 4 runs off the Nationals bullpen.

Before we get to the Braves' offensive performers, the unsung heroes in this series were the relievers, yet again. Over the three games, they pitched 9 innings, gave up 0 runs, walked 2 (all Kimbrel last night), and struck out 9. That's pretty good. David Carpenter continued his strong work with 2.2 scoreless in this series.

As for the offense, look no farther than the Braves' outfield. Jason Heyward went 3-for-10 as he was out for essentially a game, but Evan Gattis, Heyward's replacement, singled home the decisive runs in Tuesday's game. Justin Upton was on fire. A cool 8-for-12 in the series, Justin Upton's most significant hits were late-inning home runs off the Nationals bullpen that put the team ahead, and when the second one wasn't good enough, he added a two-run double to seal the victory last night. B.J. Upton also continued his march toward a respectable season with a 7-for-12 series that included a double and a couple stolen bases.

The Nationals, as you might expect from a team that scores 6 runs in 3 games, didn't have too many offensive stars. Adam LaRoche had a big double in the first game. Bryce Harper hit a home run in the second. And Jayson Werth hit a two-run shot last night. Other than that, the offense was pretty tame.

In fact, the most notable offensive performance was Harper being hit by a pitch and starting a benches-clearing incident. Nothing really happened other than some choice words being exchanged. Warnings were issued, but I was a little surprised nothing happened yesterday. All for the best that nothing did, but I'm still a little surprised.

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