Going into this game, Bryce Harper had a solid track record of success against Julio Teheran. Unfortunately for us, he kept that track record going and boosted it a little bit as well as the Nationals eventually cruised to another victory against the Braves.
The first inning was an eventful one as both teams made their presence known on the scoreboard to start off the game. The Nationals drew first blood when — you guessed it — Bryce Harper hit a solo homer to dead center field to make it 1-0 Nats at that point. I wish I could say that this was the only thing of note that Harper did tonight, but things only got worse from there.
Before things got worse, there was a little bit of hope. The Braves actually took the lead in the bottom of the first when Nick Markakis and Brandon Phillips strung together a couple of RBI singles to make it 2-1 Braves after the first inning.
Now we’re at the part where we mention Bryce Harper again, and it’s not pretty at all. Julio Teheran found himself in a major jam in the second inning when he ended up loading the bases with nobody out. He had a chance to get out of the inning with limited damage after giving up a one-out RBI single to Adam Eaton, but Harper once again hit one over the fence in center field. The grand slam completely broke the game open and made it 6-2 Nationals at that point.
The game would get uglier later on, but the Braves stayed within arm’s length of the Nationals for a while thanks to a third-inning homer from Freddie Freeman. Freeman broke the franchise record for consecutive on-base in style, and brought Atlanta to within 3 runs of Washington.
Julio Teheran’s night ended after the fourth inning, which is when the Nationals added to their lead after a wild pitch allowed Adam Eaton to score. Of course, the batter at the plate was Bryce Harper. The man didn’t even have to swing the bat and he still managed to find a way to hurt Julio Teheran and the Braves this evening. Amazingly, he wasn’t done.
By the time the eighth inning rolled around, the game appeared to be well in hand for Washington. The Nationals decided that now was the time to put a death grip on the game. With Ian Krol on the mound, Adam Eaton started things off with a double and then Bryce Harper hit a double (of course). Daniel Murphy walked to load up the bases and then Ryan Zimmerman dropped the hammer on Krol by hitting Washington’s second grand slam of the evening. The Nationals added another run after Luke Jackson replaced Krol, and they left the inning with a 12-3 lead.
On the bright side, Freddie Freeman continued his good night by adding an RBI single to make it 12-4. On another night, we’d be talking about how Freeman’s opportunistic hitting led the Braves to a win, but it’s kind of hard to win when the other team hits two grand slams in one night. The Nats eventually won the game 14-4.
The Braves will now have to find a way to avoid being swept by Washington, which would make them fall to 6-9 on the date of 4/20. That might be nice for some of you, but I’m sure that the team would prefer to be 7-8, so let’s hope that the Braves can bounce back tomorrow.