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Braves @ Nationals, 9/24-9/26


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Friday, September 24

Tim Hudson (16-8, 2.64) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (0-2, 6.75)

After dominating the National League for most of the season, Tim Hudson was tagged for 4 and then 6 runs in pivotal games against Pittsburgh and St. Louis, but righted the ship in his last start against the Mets, going 7 innings and allowing 2 earned runs. Hudson does have 210 innings pitched, a high total for someone coming off Tommy John surgery and the resultant time off.

Zimmerman is also coming back from his Tommy John surgery, with mixed results so far. Two strong outings against the Marlins and Mets were followed up by disastrous performances against the Marlins and Phillies. The Nationals have a tight pitch count for Zimmerman, so expect a healthy dose of Nationals bullpen, which has been solid all season (3.41, .240/.317/.367 against).

Televised on SportSouth and MLB.TV

Saturday, September 25

Derek Lowe (14-12, 4.18)vs Yunesky Maya (0-2, 6.32)

Lowe has done his best work of the season in his last three starts after missing a turn in the rotation and getting a cortisone shot in his right shoulder. In those three starts he is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings pitched, including a career-high 12-strikeout performance against the Nationals in Atlanta on September 13.

Maya has struggled in three starts with the Nats since being recalled to the major league club, including a 6 inning, 4 ER effort against Derek Lowe and the Braves on 9/13.

Televised on SportsSouth and MLB.TV

Sunday, September 26

TBD vs. Livan Hernandez (10-12, 3.75)

This is Jair Jurrjens' (7-6, 4.64) turn in the rotation, and he will take the mound if it's determined that his knee is major-league ready. Jurrjens has been erratic, with two poor performances against the Cardinals and Nationals his last two outings, following a 7 inning, 0 ER gem against the Marlins on 9/3. If Jurrjens can't go, the start will likely go to rookie Brandon Beachy, who pitched reasonably well in his major league debut against the Phillies (1 ER in 4 and 1/3 innings).

Hernandez has been the Nationals best starter this season, and his last start against the Braves was fantastic, going 8 innings and allowing no earned runs. The 15-year veteran was rewarded with a one-year contract extension that will keep him with the Nationals in 2011.

Televised by Fox SportsSouth and MLB.TV

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If we can get the Rockies to stay calm, win some games...and not have the Pads & Giants get hot this week we should be in. I think the Padres & Giants finish with each other...by the time we see the Phillies they'll probably be resting guys. Just have to take care of the Nats and Marlins and we should be in good shape.

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