Nationals lead Braves after three innings

After three innings at Nationals Park, Chien-Ming Wang is on his way to another solid start, Rick Ankiel made one of the team’s most impressive catches of the season and the Nationals have a 1-0 lead over the Braves.

Wang, who got tagged in the first inning of several starts in late August and early September, appears to be well beyond that now. He gave up just two hits in the first three innings, continuing to start his warmup routine earlier, and he has gone three straight starts without a run in the first inning. He isn’t throwing his sinker nearly as much as he usually does, but so far, he’s held the Braves scoreless.

He got some help, of course, from Ankiel, who chased a Michael Bourn fly ball all the way to the warning track in center field, made a slight course correction and caught it over his shoulder with his back to the infield. The catch ended the inning, when Jack Wilson would have scored easily had the ball fallen in for a hit.

As it is, it’s 1-0 Nationals, and Wang will try to end his final start of the year as a winner.