The Braves couldn't muster enough enthusiasm after facing and beating Stephen Strasburg the night before. Talking Chop provides the therapy:
It's funny how baseball works sometimes. One day, you beat Stephen Strasburg; the next, you get shut down by Craig Stammen. That's no disrespect to Stammen, who may have struggled during most of his major-league career but is certainly capable of being a good pitcher. It's just indicative of the fact that any pitcher can beat you on his best day, just as you can beat any pitcher on his worst day.
They better get used to playing every game hard because every team will be gunning for them:
"It’s not about who’s throwing 100 and who’s the best pitcher," said Martin Prado, a rare bright spot for the Braves, going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple. "Every single pitcher comes to play against us. We’re in first place. They’re trying to play hard against us."
The Nationals top hitter had the decisive blow against Derek Lowe:
Losing for just the third time in their past 20 home games, the Braves were unable to erase the deficit that was created when Ryan Zimmerman capped a three-run fifth by reaching across the plate to produce an opposite-field ground-rule double that bounced over the right-field wall.
"It was a good pitch," catcher Brian McCann said. "It was down and away, and a little bit off the plate, I think. I don't think he even knew that he hit it, because he stood in the box for a minute. I think he thought he fouled it down the right-field line."
The Braves go for the series win on Wednesday night.