The Washington Nationals continued their mastery of Atlanta Friday night with an 8-3 win over a Braves team that is quickly playing its way out of the postseason. The last place Nat’s have almost single handedly put the Braves playoff hopes in critical condition.
To make matters worse, it was Braves ace Tim Hudson that took the loss Friday night. He gave up six runs and seven hits in just over five innings of work. The Braves have lost four straight.
Meanwhile, every team the Braves need to lose is winning. The Phillies won their 11th straight last night. The Giants won. So did the Padres.
For the first time in months, the Braves are officially on the outside of the postseason picture looking in. The Phillies lead in the N.L. East is seven games and their magic number is down to two games. We’ve known for almost a week the Braves weren’t going to catch the Phillies, so it’s not a shocker Philly is going to probably lock up the division by the end of the weekend. It is all about the Wild Card, and now even that is looking suspect.
The Braves trail the Padres by a half game for the final postseason spot. The Padres beat the Reds last night to move into Wild Card lead. On paper you would think Atlanta has the advantage this weekend, seeing as they are playing the stinky Nationals. The Padres are facing a Reds team that will be in the playoffs. The Braves need to take advantage of their favorable matchup and do what everyone else in baseball has been doing all season: Beat the stinky Nationals.
Derek Lowe will be on the mound this afternoon to try to stop the bleeding. I am not a fan of the term “must win” but if ever there was a time to use it, this may be it. First pitch is 1:05 in D.C.
In the other notable games today; the Reds and Padres play at 4:05, The Phillies and Mets play at 7:05 and the Giants and Rockies play at 8:05.