Stammen's game refined tonight versus Braves

Craig Stammen is back with the Nationals for tonight's matchup in game two at Turner Field against the first place Atlanta Braves.

Stammen talked to me recently about the demotion in early June and what he has concentrated on to get back to the big leagues.

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"It wasn't like I was throwing the ball badly. I had really good stuff almost every time I went out. Just didn't execute and was overthrowing a little bit and not really trusting myself as much as I should. I can't really pinpoint it on one thing. I wasn't being as consistent at the big league level. Hopefully I can improve a little bit."

Stammen says he has worked on setting up hitters more in Syracuse instead of trying to get them out with just one pitch.

The results showed at Triple-A. With a near no-hitter two weeks ago, Stammen was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA with 10 strikeouts in three starts.

"I threw the ball pretty decent two out of the last three starts in Washington - just kind of carried that on here in Triple-A, [and I] feel like I have executed pretty well. I am just working on refining my game a little bit and getting better at every little detail."

Stammen told me he is looking to be more consistent as he starts tonight for the Nats against the Braves. The Nats are reeling right now and desperately need a starter to go long and calm things down.

This will be a tough task against a Braves team that has played the best baseball in the division for nearly two months.

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