A National Audience
The Nationals and Braves continue their final regular season meeting Saturday afternoon in Atlanta as Edwin Jackson and Tommy Hanson square off. When the season began, many in the baseball world were likely looking at the Giants/D-backs series in Arizona as the premiere National League matchup this weekend. But with the Nationals taking the NL East by storm in 2012, entering Saturday’s contest with a 7.5-game advantage over the dangerous, second-place Braves, all eyes will literally be focused on Atlanta, as FOX has picked up the Saturday game (4:05 p.m. first pitch) and Sunday’s affair has been moved to 8:05 p.m. EDT as the Sunday Night Baseball feature on ESPN.
While both telecasts will bring national exposure for this Washington club as it rolls towards October, Sunday’s game signifies an especially telling change in the way the club is viewed outside the Beltway. Prior to this season, ESPN had not aired a single Nationals game in their Sunday night slot since the opening night of Nationals Park, on March 30, 2008. Four years later, this will be the third game given the royal treatment in 2012, and the second here in Atlanta, where a budding rivalry between two good young teams is blossoming before our eyes. This weekend, the rest of the country will get to see what Washington fans have been experiencing since early April.
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