Welcome to MASN’s discussion space for today’s Nationals-Braves game at Nationals Park. I’ll have updates and analysis throughout the day, and if you’d like to talk about the game, you can leave your thoughts in the comments section. I’ll respond to you there.
1:44: Livan Hernandez got into trouble in the first inning, walking Jason Heyward and giving up a single to Martin Prado that moved Heyward to third. But the Nationals caught a break when Brian McCann smashed a liner right at Adam Dunn, who stepped on first to double off Prado.
1:59: The Nationals lead 1-0 after Michael Morse’s RBI single up the middle. Morse got a piece of a Brandon Beachy curveball on the outer half of the plate, sending it off Omar Infante’s glove to score Nyjer Morgan. The Nationals stranded two runners, but they’ve got the early lead.
2:26: It’s 2-0 Nationals after Nyjer Morgan’s RBI single in the second inning, but it could have been 3-0 had Roger Bernadina not been thrown out by Rick Ankiel at the plate to end the second. Ian Desmond hit a fly ball to center, and Bernadina tried to tag up, but slid short of home plate and was tagged out by Brian McCann. You could’ve argued for him staying at third with Adam Dunn up next, but it’s tough to fault Bernadina for trying to score with two outs.
2:58: Ankiel, who robbed the Nationals of a run with his throw home in the second, just blasted a home run to center, cutting the Nationals’ lead to 2-1. It was Ankiel’s first homer since August 23.
3:12: Not a good fifth inning for the Nationals. Danny Espinosa led off with his second single of the day, but he was caught stealing as Nyjer Morgan struck out swinging, and then Ian Desmond looked at strike three. They still lead 2-1, but you get the feeling the Braves will break through at some point here.
3:35: Ankiel strikes again: He just put a double past Adam Dunn down the first-base line to tie the game at two. That will be it for Livan Hernandez, who leaves with a runner on second. Sean Burnett is coming in for the Nationals in the seventh, and Hernandez has thrown his last pitch at Nationals Park this year.
4:04: After Kyle Farnsworth and Johnny Venters combine to walk the bases full, Ian Desmond hits a 2-1 chopper up the middle for a two-RBI single to put the Nationals up 4-2. The base hit, of course, came after the insufferable Bobby McKey’s video that Nationals PR intern Kyle Brostowitz has anointed the team’s version of the Rally Monkey. It’s certainly annoying enough, and it’s worked all week.
4:18: Drew Storen is warming up for the Nationals. It looks like he’ll pitch the ninth inning and try to close this one out.