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Braves Vs. Nationals: Atlanta Looks To Gain Ground On Washington

The Atlanta Braves entered Monday five games behind the Nationals in the NL East and they'd love to put some pressure on Washington as September approaches. In order to do that, though, they'll have to hit better than they did in Los Angeles over the weekend. They'll also need a strong effort from the pitching staff to halt some of Washington's hot bats.

As noted in Talking Chop's preview of this series, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse have been doing a lot of damage for the Nationals of late.

Ryan Zimmerman continues to lead the Nationals with his torrid hitting, posting a .327/.400/.513 line over the past month. Zimmerman leads the Nats in WAR (1.4), wOBA (.386), and wRC+ (145) over that time frame, and shutting down his bat will be top priority for Braves pitching this week. Michael Morse continues to be a slugging force in the middle of the Nats' order, cleaning up behind Zimmerman. Morse has hit .295 over the past month while slugging .545 including 7 home runs.

Related: Lugo Throws A Gem, Teheran Melts Down, And Gwinnett's Offense Goes Crazy In Sunday's Atlanta Braves Minor League Action

For updates, stick with SB Nation Atlanta. For more in-depth coverage of this series, head over to Talking Chop. And for more news and notes from around baseball, visit Baseball Nation.

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