Welcome to MASN's live thread for tonight's Nationals-Braves game at Nationals Park. I'll have updates and analysis throughout the game, and whether you're just watching the game on TV or following online, you can participate by commenting in this thread. Or, if you're on Twitter, you can tag tweets with #masnnats, and they'll be included in the chat.
If you want to participate in the chat via our Gamezone space, which includes live stats, matchup data, pitch tracking and more, head here. And if you're not into the game chat experience, that's fine, too - I'll provide some periodic updates below the chat window.
Thru 3: Roger Bernadina's plus-minus, to borrow a hockey term, is at 0 tonight. He missed an easy liner from Martin Prado in the first inning, the ball caroming off the edge of his glove and allowing Nate McLouth to score. But Bernadina saved a run in the top of the third with a spectacular diving catch to rob Troy Glaus of a hit and end the inning with Chipper Jones on second. Missed it? Don't worry. It'll be on plenty of highlight shows. Livan Hernandez needed 41 pitches to get through the first inning, and just gave up a homer to Jason Heyward to start the third. The Nats and Braves are tied at two apiece. Hernandez needs a couple quick innings, or a bullpen that's going to be taxed a lot this week will get put to work early.
Thru 6: The Nationals are up 4-2, after a pair of homers from Ian Desmond and Adam Dunn. Dunn's ball went into the second deck above right center; I can remember maybe one other ball ever going up there (Ryan Howard, I think?). At any rate, this was one of the longest balls hit at Nationals Park, joining the one Dunn put in the third deck during the last homestand. Livan Hernandez needed 123 pitches to get through five innings, and Sean Burnett relieved him to get through the sixth inning. It wasn't a great night for Hernandez, but give him credit for getting as far as he did and keeping the Nationals from having to delve too deep into their bullpen early in the game.