ATLANTA - Not only have the Nationals gone 0-4 at Turner Field this year and 4-10 in Atlanta dating back to the beginning of last season, but they always seem to come out of those games nursing a new batch of ailments.
Last season, Stephen Strasburg twice came out of starts at Turner Field with injuries (forearm and oblique) and Bryce Harper injured his side trying to make a leaping catch at the right field wall.
This year, Ryan Zimmerman broke his thumb in a game at Atlanta, Denard Span suffered a concussion here, and now we can add Steven Souza Jr. to the list of the walking wounded after his scary collision with the right field wall last night.
Something strange always seems to happen when the Nats play the Braves, especially in Atlanta, and that sure was the case last night.
Strasburg allowed four homers in an outing for the first time in his career, which now features 100 starts. The Nats were down 6-0 after two innings to a Braves team that had lost eight in a row and had averaged just 2.25 runs per game during that stretch.
The Braves hit more home runs in their first five innings last night than they had in their previous 12 games combined.
But then the Nats got on the comeback trail. Asdrubal Cabrera had an RBI single in the sixth. Anthony Rendon followed with a three-run homer, making it a ballgame again.
After the rain came, Wilson Ramos crushed a solo shot. Cabrera then added a sac fly. All of a sudden, it was a one-run game.
The Nats were unable to complete the comeback, of course, but to them, the way they battled back was still significant. It still showed something, a fight that Matt Williams says not every team would have shown in that same situation.
Can that carry over to tonight’s game? Who knows. But the Nats were pleased with the way they kept their spirits up and found a way to fight back when they were in a very deep hole very early on.
“It’s hard to see the score 7-0,” Ramos said. “It’s hard for the team. But I know what kind of team we have and I know what teammates I have. Everybody can hit the ball well. In those situations, with this team, you don’t have to put the head down. You got talent here to play better than today. That happens in the game. We just need to play nine innings every day and play hard.
“We’ve got good potential here. That’s good for the team to come back like that. That’s good because we wake up and keep the head up.”