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What I liked / Didn’t like about the Nationals’ sweep of the Braves in Atlanta

Game 1: 9-2 win on Friday night (May 8)

Game 2: 8-6 win on Saturday (May 9)

Game 3: 5-4 win on Sunday afternoon (May 10)

What I liked:

1. Great finish to a key early-season stretch – This series concluded a run of 16 consecutive games against the National League East.  The Nats went 10-6, including winning 10 of the final 12 games.

2. The offense – The Nats totaled 22 runs and batted .360 (36-for-100), including going 9-for-20 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest standout without question was Bryce Harper.  He had two homers and five RBI in Game 1.  He had a walk-off two-run homer in Game 2, giving him six homers and 12 RBI over three games.  He had an RBI double in Game 3.  Harper went 7-for-12 with a walk in the series, totaling three homers, eight RBI and five runs.

Ryan Zimmerman went 5-for-12, blasting a three-run homer in Game 2.

Danny Espinosa hit two left-handed homers in Game 1.  He now has four left-handed homers this season off totaling five all of last season and off supposedly giving up batting as a lefty during spring training.

3. Gio Gonzalez’s Game 1 start – Gio allowed two runs in seven innings, recording eight strikeouts.

4. Doug Fister’s Game 2 start – Fister allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, no walks and a hit-by-pitch.

What I didn’t like:

1. The bullpen in the Braves’ three-run eighth in Game 2 – The Nats blew a 6-3 lead.  Aaron Barrett gave up two singles and a walk.  Tanner Roark then gave up an RBI groundout and a two-run double.

2. Multiple outs on the base paths – Harper got thrown out at first after going too far in rounding the base on a single in the bottom of the fourth of Game 1.

Michael Taylor got thrown out at home in the bottom of the eighth of Game 2.

Game 3 featured three base-running blunders.  Dan Uggla got picked off at second to end the bottom of the fifth.  Jayson Werth got thrown out at third on Zimmerman’s RBI single for the second out of the bottom of the eighth.  Wilson Ramos got thrown out at third trying to advance on his RBI double to end the bottom of the eighth.

3. Jordan Zimmermann’s Game 3 start – Zimmermann allowed three runs in six innings, giving up eight hits and three walks.

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