How big was last night's win for the Nationals? Well, they scored seven runs off Tim Hudson for the first time ever. And Ryan Zimmerman delivered his biggest hit of a the season (a three-run double after Hudson pitched around 19-year-old Bryce Harper). And Chien-Ming Wang earned the victory in his season debut (and perhaps pushed Ross Detwiler to the bullpen in the process).
More significant than all that, though, was the fact the Nationals extended their lead over the Braves to two games. Which means even in a worst-case scenario, they'll still be tied atop the NL East come Monday. Which would really represent a worst-case scenario, because they now get to send Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez to the mound the next two nights.
Can't ask for a situation much more advantageous than that. It begins at 4:05 p.m. today when Strasburg gets the nod against struggling left-hander Mike Minor (0-3, 10.46 ERA over his last five starts). As you know, I'm not in Atlanta this weekend, so please enjoy the conversation among yourself again...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 91 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LHP Mike Minor
HP Dana DeMuth (cc), 1B Kerwin Danley, 2B Manny Gonzalez, 3B Doug Eddings