Nationals Game Notes: September 5 vs. Atlanta Braves

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Atlanta Braves (54-83) vs. Washington Nationals (79-57)
RHP Ryan Weber [1-0, 5.24] | RHP Max Scherzer [15-7, 2.89]
Monday, September 5 l Game #137 / Home #65 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 4:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

NO TIME TO WASTE
The Nationals returned home from a 4-2 road trip in the wee hours of Monday morning with no time to waste before turning the page to the Atlanta Braves, who head to Nationals Park for a 4:05 p.m. tilt that will open a 10-game homestand for Washington…The Nationals’ penultimate regular-season homestand of the year will feature the Braves, Phillies and Mets.

  • At 79-57 (.581), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Cubs (88-48, .647)…WSH ranks 2nd in the NL with a +138 run differential.
  • Washington’s 38-26 (.594) home record is good for the third-best mark in the National League, behind only the Cubs (51-20, .718) and the Dodgers (44-27, .620)…With just 26 games remaining in the regular season, Washington has played the fewest home games of any team in the NL (64) and will play at Nationals Park in 17 of those remaining 26 contests.

BULLISH ON THE ‘PEN
The Nationals enter the meat of their September schedule possessing the best bullpen ERA in the National League (3.29), a mark that sits just behind the Kansas City Royals for the best in MLB (3.12)…Washington’s relievers have also combined to allow the fewest home runs in the NL (38) with only the Chicago White Sox bullpen allowing fewer league-wide (37).

  • The strong overall work by the Nationals’ bullpen is due, in part, to the starting staff that precedes it…Entering Monday, WSH’s bullpen had been taxed for the fewest IP in the NL (397.0 IP), while the starting staff had combined to throw the third-most in MLB (833.0 IP).
  • Washington’s ‘pen has also been incredibly stingy when inheriting runners, allowing just 24.8 percent of all IR to cross the plate, second only to San Francisco’s 20.9 percent.

IT’S NOT HOW YOU START, BUT…
Washington scored at least one first-inning run in each of the first five games of their most recent road trip, and in six consecutive games overall (dating to Aug. 28 vs. COL)…That streak was snapped with a scoreless top of the first on Sunday night at New York.

  • The Nationals have scored more first-inning runs than any team in baseball this year with 107…BOS ranks second with 100, and TOR is tied for third with LAA at 96.

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