The Nationals and the Braves are meeting for the seventh time this season tonight. At this point in the season, the Braves have absolutely dominated the Nationals. Atlanta has won five of the six so far. However, that hasn’t seemed to define the Nationals’ season, as they sit in first place with a 1.5 game lead over Atlanta. Statistically, the Nationals have scored many more runs per game, have had better pitching, made more comebacks and have been just generally the better team. But as the Cardinals proved, some teams just have the Nationals’ number. So what can the Nationals do to win this series and take a definitive lead in the NL East?1. Forget Everything, And Play
Forget everything means everything. They can’t think about the success they recently had against Houston or the brutal series against St. Louis, or being absolutely dominated by Atlanta so far. All that will only take away from the clear vision of what they need to do, and how they need to play, like this is the World Series, because if they do win this series, they dramatically improve their chances of winning the division.
2. Don’t Forget How To Pitch
The Nationals have gotten to this point with great starting pitching, and a better bullpen. Holding the Braves offense to a low number of runs can come in handy, as their bullpen is currently struggling, so once they get past the starter, the game is still in reach.
3. Don’t Be Stupid
The Nats made a lot of avoidable mistakes on the base-paths and in the field. Those are forgivable against Houston. Not-so-much against the Braves, who are, despite the statistical differences, still a good team.
4. Remember To Hit
The Nationals’ offense can be very on-and-off. They simply need to relax, and get their hits. If an ace deals, an ace deals. Just try and work the pitch count.
If the Nats follow these four things, they could be sitting pretty come monday.