Today wasn't a good day for the Braves.
In the first game of the twin bill, the Nationals jumped out to an early 3-0 lead off Mike Minor, who recovered for 6 strong innings. The Braves would fight back, and they took the lead on Evan Gattis' two-run bomb. Things looked even better in the top of the ninth as a Freddie Freeman grounder eluded Ian Desmond to make the lead 5-3 heading into the ninth. It was the lower part of the order against Craig Kimbrel.
Things, as you know, did not go as planned. Kimbrel had one of his few bouts of wildness, and he never could throw his curveball for strikes. After walking two and giving up an infield single to Wilson Ramos, Kimbrel couldn't quite bury a curveball against Chad Tracy, who grounded out to first for the first out but also to cut the lead to 5-4. What happened next isn't something you see often. A groundball was hit up the middle, and Andrelton Simmons let it go right through his legs. He couldn't save Kimbrel from blowing the lead, but it would have given the Braves two outs and a tie game. But it went through his legs, and the Braves took the loss.
The nightcap didn't go much better. Freddy Garcia and Tanner Roark largely traded zeroes. Garcia gave up a run in the bottom of the second, but he, otherwise, threw a strong game, going 7 innings while striking out 6 and walking 2. Things fell apart, however, in the bottom of the eighth as Jordan Walden allowed three runs - including Ryan Zimmerman's 10th home run of the month - to make it 4-0.
Today certainly wasn't what the Braves were hoping for. Winning the series meant clinching the division, but now the Braves will look to lower the Magic Number 2 again tomorrow. No reason to panic. The Nationals still basically have to run the table to take the division.