Braves Give Nationals Series Opener

Kimbrel hadn't blown a save since May

Kimbrel hadn’t blown a save since May

A costly error from Andrelton Simmons helped the Washington Nationals take down the Atlanta Braves in the final at bat.  The Nationals won 6-5, which keeps the Braves magic number at 4.

The Nationals jumped on the Braves early in game 1 of the double-header.  Jayson Werth started it off when he doubled to deep center field.  Denard Span scored the game’s first run.  Bryce Harper then added a run on ground out.  The ground out to 2nd by Harper, allowed Ryan Zimmerman to score the Nationals 2nd run.  Jayson Werth later scored on a single from former Brave, Adam LaRoche.  The Nationals were up 3-0 early.

It was not until the 6th inning when the Braves finally started their comeback.  Freddie Freeman hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Elliott Johnson.

The Braves would add another in the 7th inning.  This run came off of a Dan Uggla single.  Chris Johnson scored and the Braves were within 1 run at 3-2, Nationals.

The Braves grabbed the lead from the Nationals in the 8th.  Evan Gattis hit a 405 ft blast that scored both him and Freddie Freeman.  The Braves now led 4-3.

Seemed like the Braves added some insurance run in the top half of the 9th.  Freeman reached on an error by shortstop Ian DesmondElliot Johnson scored and gave the Braves a 2 run lead at 5-3.

It looked like a sure Braves win as Craig Kimbrel came in for the save.  It was not so on Tuesday afternoon.  It was a ground out by Chad Tracy that first pushed a run across for the Nationals.

That’s when a rare error from Andrelton Simmons allowed Anthony Rendon and Jeff Kobernus to score.  The 2 runs were enough as the Nationals beat the Braves 6-5.

Game MVP:

Evan Gattis: 1-4,R, HR, and 2 RBIs

Though the Nationals came back, it was still clutch hitting in the 8th inning from Evan Gattis.  His HR put the Braves ahead late in the game.  A rare error and rough outing from Kimbrel overshadowed Gattis’ homerun.

The Braves will not have much time sulk about this loss.  They will face off against the Nationals again in a few hours.  The Braves will be looking to trim the magic number to 2 as Freddy Garcia (4-6, 4.86) takes on Tanner Roark (6-0,1.30).

  • Lee

    CJ, your first paragraph seems to indicate that Simmons was most responsible for the loss. I believe that Kimbrel was the most responsible, giving walks to the first two batters in the 9th. Granted, Simmons allowed the final run, but Kimbrel set it all up. Either way, the Braves are slumping at a very bad time.

    • Lee

      My mistake. Kimbrel walked the first & third batters, with the second batter getting on by a bobble by E. Johnson, which loaded the bases. Second game no better. If the Braves continue this downward spiral, they will give up home field advantage in the playoffs.

  • C.J. Smith

    I agree with you. Just seems like Anderlton is super human on defense and an error like this seemed impossible for him to make. Kimbrel and Simmons both played a big part in the comeback by the Nationals. Hopefully, they can turn things around soon.