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Strasburg seeks win in scorching Atlanta

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Strasburg seeks win in scorching Atlanta

ATLANTA -- I know it was a rough night and has been a rough day for many of you back in the D.C. area. Here's hoping everyone is managing to stay cool and that some of you are getting your power back. We had no storms here in Atlanta, but it's equally as hot, maybe hotter, with the thermometer expected to top out at 104 degrees right around 4:05 p.m. today when Stephen Strasburg and Mike Minor take the mound at Turner Field.

We'll see how Strasburg deals with the scorching heat, and we'll see if the Nationals' lineup can continue to produce the way it has the last four days. Through the first 71 games this season, this team averaged eight hits. Through the last four games, it's averaging 16 hits.

If you're able to watch the game today, enjoy. If not, I'll have plenty of updates and analysis on the Nats Insider live game thread...

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 184
Weather: Sunny, 104 degrees, Wind 3 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (44-31)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
RHP Stephen Strasburg

BRAVES (40-36)
CF Michael Bourn
LF Martin Prado
RF Jason Heyward
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Dan Uggla
C Brian McCann
SS Andrelton Simmons
3B Juan Francisco
LHP Mike Minor

UMPIRES
HP Marvin Hudson, 1B Tim McClelland (cc), 2B Brian Runge, 3B Ted Barrett

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Gonzalez takes the mound as the Nats kick off weekend set vs. Rockies

Gonzalez takes the mound as the Nats kick off weekend set vs. Rockies

Nats (74-53) vs. Rockies (60-67) at Nationals Park

The Nationals will look to make it back-to-back wins Friday night as they host the Colorado Rockies for the first of a three-game weekend set. Washington will send Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 4.30 ERA) to the mound to oppose rookie right hander Jeff Hoffman (0-1, 13.50 ERA). 

The last time these two clubs met, the Nats dropped two of three in Colorado, as they were overwhelmed by the Rockies' power-laden lineup. Dusty Baker and company will hope to fare better this time around in the friendly confines of Nats Park.  

Speaking of Baker, his lineup will be without Wilson Ramos for the second straight day. The Nats' skipper explained before Friday's game that his catcher is fine, and that the move is to simply give him an additional day of rest. Jose Lobaton, who called Thursday night's shutout against the Orioles, will be back in there and batting eighth. Other than that, it's the typical lineup. 

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN 2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Gio Gonzalez vs. Rockies - Jeff Hoffman

NATS

CF Trea Turner
LF Jayson Werth
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
LHP Gio Gonzalez

ROCKIES

CF Charlie Blackmon
1B Stephen Cardullo 
3B Nolan Arenado
RF Carlos Gonzalez
LF Ryan Raburn
C Nick Hundley
2B Daniel Descalso 
SS Cristhian Adames
RHP Jeff Hoffman

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MLB Power Rankings: The Royals arrived, just in time

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MLB Power Rankings: The Royals arrived, just in time

Just when everyone was writing the 2016 Kansas City Royals' obituary, they win 9 in a row and plant themselves in the thick of the playoff race. It's possibly the most Royals thing in the world to do. How did the other teams fare? To the rankings! 

30. Atlanta Braves (LW: 30)

Adios, Jeff Francoeur. 

29. Minnesota Twins (LW: 29)

It's still weird to think that before this season, people thought they'd be a playoff team. 

28.  Arizona Diamondbacks (LW: 28)

Matt Wisler looked dominant in his almost-no-hitter of the Diamondbacks. 

27. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 25) 

The Joey Votto offseason trade rumors are starting to heat up! 

26. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LW: 26)

Are there really rumors that the Angels are the team seriously looking into Tim Tebow?

SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS HERE

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Podcast - 'Baseball in the District' - Nats make the traded they needed

Podcast - 'Baseball in the District' - Nats make the traded they needed

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On this week's episode of 'Baseball in the District,' Tim Murray and I began by breaking down the Nats' recent trade for lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski, how he will fit in their bullpen and how much they potentially miss Max Schrock, the prospect that they gave up.

We then discussed Katie Ledecky's appearance at Nationals Park and her interview with the media. That got us talking about the most awkward experiences we've ever had with famous people.

Also in this week's episode was talk about Trea Turner's impact this season and whether he is currently the Nats' most complete player. Mixed in is our thoughts about the Beltway Series and why the O's have had the Nats' number.

Feel free to share your opinions with us on Twitter @ChaseHughesCSN and @1TimMurray.

You can listen to the show on ESPN 980's website or download the show on iTunes.