It didn’t matter that Max Scherzer was on the mound for the Nationals last night, they played like a team possessed. After the Nats gave Scherzer a 2-run cushion, the Braves fought right back to knock Scherzer out of the game. Max allowed 7 hits and 6 runs before he was pulled from the game. It didn’t appear like he had his stuff from the get-go, so Dave Martinez probably waited a little too long to pull the cord on Scherzer.
His numbers take a dive as a result. The win made for the Braves’ sixth victory in a row, as they continue to widen the gap in the NL East. The Phillies may have looked good last night, but at 7.5 games, it’s becoming too much of a lead to overcome. However, the Braves and Phillies still have seven games against each other. It’s a long shot, but the Phils can’t ask for much more. If only the Nationals and Cardinals can help them out before meeting next weekend.
The Phillies likely felt good seeing Scherzer on the mound for the Nats a night ago. That didn’t work out, though, and now they will look to Jeremy Hellickson. to help them out. Hellickson is fresh off the disabled list, with his last start a month ago today on August 15th. The Nationals have nothing to play for, but they were winners in five straight games before dropping their previous two games against the Cubs and Braves. The Braves will counter with Julio Teheran on Saturday. Get our free Nationals vs. Braves pick and the rest of our writeup below.
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves Pick
Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, 3.57 ERA) vs. Julio Teheran (9-7, 3.95 ERA)
The Nationals were originally looking at Jefry Rodriguez to get this start, but they’re going with Hellickson. Rodriguez will move to the bullpen for the rest of the season. Their rotation is pretty full, with Joe Ross and Erick Fedde hoping to impress late in the year. Hellickson has already established himself, so he’s just looking to bring his numbers down a bit and hope to find a rotation next season.
Hellickson is a free agent after this year is up. The Nats may not decide to resign him, but there could be a team out there looking for another arm for their starting rotation. Hellickson has been solid with an ERA of 3.57 and a 3.45 ERA in his last three outings before going down. He’s facing a hot Atlanta team, who have averaged 6.5 runs per game in their last eight games and won seven of their last eight games. They look like they’re zeroing-in on the postseason and playing laser sharp, focused baseball.
Teheran has been helping the cause for the Braves. He’s allowed 1 run in four of his last six starts, while allowing more than 2 runs only once. Teheran goes into Saturday with an ERA of 2.89 and 1.02 in his previous three starts. He has seen plenty of up and downs during his eight-year career with the Braves, but he’s certainly seeing the up portion of it at the moment. The Braves look so incredibly locked in right now that it’s tough to shy away from Teheran and their bats. Philadelphia are likely going to go into their game tonight looking at another Atlanta win on the out of town scoreboard.