To put it bluntly, the Nats pretty much sucked this whole series.
GM Mike Rizzo can say his team is better than the Braves until he's blue in the face, but until that team actually goes out and proves it, then he's talking out of the wrong end.
From the opening inning of the series, the Braves dominated the Nationals; in hitting, pitching, and defense, the Braves were clearly better. Right now, the Braves OWN the Nats. Not one person who has watched these two teams play each other the last two years can deny that.
Justin Upton had a monster series and now has 11 hits in his last 14 at-bats with eight runs scored and eight RBI. He hit the game-tying home run Friday off whipping boy Tyler Clippard and had the game-winning hit later in the 10th.
Freddie Freeman has been red hot since the season started. He extended his hitting streak to nine games and had six hits in the series with two doubles, two homers and five RBI. He was hit in the hand with a pitch in the finale, but it looked like nothing more than a blood blister. He is now hitting .442. I know it's still early but...that's video game territory!
The Nationals shot themselves in the foot the entire series with costly errors on defense and on the base paths. Washington committed seven errors in the three games compared to just two for the Braves; Ian Desmond was responsible for four of those seven by himself. Bryce Harper reached base 10 times in the series, but was thrown out on the bases twice by being a bit overzealous: once by getting picked off and getting caught in a rundown, the other for trying to advance to second base on a pitch in the dirt while trailing 6-0.
Washington's RISP: 7-34 (.206); 1-16 on Saturday
Atlanta's RISP: 10-26 (.385)
Ryan Zimmerman fractured his right thumb diving into second base on a pickoff. He's expected to miss 4 - 6 weeks.
The difference in starting pitching was also night and day:
Washington: 15.2 innings, 24 hits, 16 ER
Atlanta: 17 innings, 21 hits, 4 ER
Aaron Harang with the Braves: 18.2 innings, 9 hits, 2 ER, 17 strikeouts. I'm not sure anyone expected this out of Harang, but he's been a pleasant surprise. As long as he can keep this up, the Braves can take their time with Gavin Floyd and Mike Minor.