National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (70-53) at Washington Nationals (77-46), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Kris Medlen (4-1, 2.03)
Washington - Ross Detwiler (7-5, 3.25)
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves came into their series with the
Washington Nationals hoping to make up ground in the NL East. Instead, they
have fallen two more games off the pace as their season-long struggles in this
matchup have continued.
The Braves now hope that Kris Medlen has a little more magic left in his right
hand as tries to help his club avoid its longest losing streak in three months
in the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday evening.
Atlanta has lost the first two games of this set to drop seven games behind
Washington for first place in the division. The Braves do still hold the first
of two NL wild card spots despite losses in four straight.
Medlen could spark a turnaround as he has gone 3-0 with a 1.05 earned run
average in four starts since joining the rotation. He has given up just three
runs over 25 2/3 innings in that span and is coming off a five-hit shutout of
the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
The right-hander struck out six and did not walk a batter, moving to 4-1 with
a 2.02 ERA in 42 total appearances this season.
"That was super cool," Medlen said following his first career complete game.
"I had some balls squared up pretty good, but it was just luck of the draw
that they were right at people."
The 26-year-old will make his first career start versus the Nationals after
going 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in nine relief encounters.
The Braves try to avoid the sweep after getting shut down by the Nats' Stephen
Strasburg in Tuesday's 4-1 loss. Strasburg gave up a run over six innings,
striking out 10 to win his fourth straight start.
Washington, meanwhile, improved to 10-4 versus Atlanta this season with its
16th victory in 20 games overall.
"The job isn't finished. It's still August," Strasburg said of the seven-game
division lead. "We're still focused, we're still trying to win as many games
as we can, so we got another opportunity (Wednesday)."
Jesus Flores hit a three-run homer and Ian Desmond added a solo shot for the
Freddie Freeman knocked in the lone run for the Braves, who are now trying to
avoid their longest skid since dropping eight straight from May 21-28.
"We have to take care of our business and come in tomorrow and expect to win,"
said starter Paul Maholm, who yielded four runs over seven innings of the
Ross Detwiler aims to pitch Washington to the sweep and is coming off Friday's
6-4 win over the New York Mets. The 26-year-old southpaw hurled six innings,
allowing three runs on six hits and a walk.
Detwiler is 7-5 with a 3.25 ERA in 25 games this season (19 starts) going 6-1
with a 2.69 ERA at home.
He is 2-0 with a 3.62 ERA lifetime versus the Braves, beating them on July 22
after giving up two runs -- one earned -- in seven frames.
08/22 10:37:19 ET
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