It was a good night for baseball (especially since the Braves won), and it was a banner crowd with a playoff atmosphere at Turner Field:
After Strasburg sailed through six innings, the Braves knocked him out during a five-run seventh that lifted them and Tim Hudson to a 5-0 win in a series opener before an excited crowd of 42,889 at Turner Field.
"It felt like a playoff game, the electricity that was there tonight," Braves catcher Brian McCann said. "A lot of people came out to watch Strasburg pitch."
Tim Hudson added:
“It was fun. It was a great ballgame. Fans were excited. It was a good pitchers’ duel till late in the game. It was a lot of fun. It was fun to see the fans, all the electricity in the air and getting into it, big pitches having to be made.”
Many of Hudson's teammates were also impressed with his outing, which continued his dominance over the Nationals:
"He's back," Jones said of Hudson, who missed most of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. "He's in complete control out there. He's got his velocity back. He's getting his results, and the results aren't strikeouts and flyouts. He'll get his four, five or six punchouts. But he gets double plays and ground balls. He can get himself out of trouble with one pitch."
While improving to 9-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 15 career starts against the Nationals, Hudson recorded 12 groundouts and registered five strikeouts.
Talking Chop hands our the hardware for this game:
Tim Hudson (stat line above); fun fact: this was the 3rd time in Tim's last 6 starts in which he's had at least 80% ground balls.
All the hitters. Nobody really had a great night, but everyone contributed. Good work, fellas.
Alberto Gonzales-- 0/3, 3 K, -0.185 WPA
MVP in a Losing Effort
Roger Bernadina-- 2/3, BB, 2B, K, 0.092 WPA (higher than any Braves hitter, interestingly... though he was the only National with a WPA above 0.001)
Bernadina's double leading off the Nats' 7th (0.113 WPA)
Gonzales' strikeout with a runner on 3rd and 1 out in the 7th (-0.116 WPA)
Desmond's error on the double-play ball in the Braves' half of the 7th (-0.106 WPA)