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Braves vs. Nationals Preview: Jair Jurrjens Takes The Mound As Baseball Returns To Atlanta

The Braves will (finally) resume baseball after having four days off because of bad weather. Will the team be ready for the Nationals, a team they typically struggle against?

Tuesday will bring both good and bad news.

The good news: baseball is back! The Braves have not played in nearly four days and it seems like so much longer with the team playing well. The rest may have done some good for Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, the bullpen, and others, but it sucks for the fans. Fortunately, it will resume Tuesday evening at Turner Field.

The bad news: The Washington Nationals are the opponent. Yes, the same Washington Nationals who have the crazy idea that their 18 or so games a season with the Braves count as their World Series and they must do whatever they can to pull out a victory. It's frustrating to consistently struggle against a lesser team, yet it seems to continue year after year. 

Hopefully that ends this week. We've got a playoff spot to clinch, after all.

Here is a closer look at the 62-70 Nationals, who have lost six straight games.

Mor(s)e isn't always less:

Michael Morse

#38 / First Base / Washington Nationals

6-5

230

R

R

Mar 22, 1982

 

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Michael Morse 120 420 57 132 31 0 22 73 29 97 2 3 .314 .372 .545

 

Michael Morse has always been capable of becoming one of the better hitters in the National League, but it wasn't until 2011 when he finally broke out. The first baseman has been Washington's best hitter this season and leads the team in home runs, RBIs, BA, OBP, SLG, and wRC+. Be careful of him in this series.

If there is a downside to his play, it would be his defense. While he is nowhere near Adam Dunn's level of awfulness, he ranks near the bottom of the league in first baseman in terms of range and runs saved. Hopefully Atlanta can shoot a couple of well-hit balls his way in the series.

Pitching Matchups:

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. EDT -- Jair Jurrjens vs. Livan Hernandez -- PeachTree TV, Fox Sports South

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jair Jurrjens 13-5 22 22 2 1 0 0 146.0 134 46 44 11 42 87 2.71 1.21
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Livan Hernandez 7-12 29 27 1 1 0 0 163.0 186 90 79 15 42 97 4.36 1.40

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. EDT -- Derek Lowe vs. John Lannan -- PeachTree TV, Fox Sports South

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Derek Lowe 8-12 28 28 0 0 0 0 157.1 171 84 81 10 59 114 4.63 1.46
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - John Lannan 8-10 27 27 0 0 0 0 153.0 155 72 61 13 65 87 3.59 1.44

Thursday, 7:10 p.m. EDT -- Tim Hudson vs. Chien-Ming Wang -- Fox Sports South

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Hudson 13-8 27 27 1 1 0 0 177.0 151 70 61 12 45 126 3.10 1.11
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Chien-Ming Wang 2-2 6 6 0 0 0 0 33.0 34 21 14 3 10 9 3.82 1.33

On the verge of history:

Craig Kimbrel

#46 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

5-11

205

R

R

May 28, 1988


Craig Kimbrel has 40 saves. One more and he sets the all-time rookie record for saves in a season. Let's take care of that accolade nice and early on Tuesday night, eh, Craig?

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.