By the time the 5th inning was over yesterday, the Nationals were up 6-1 and it looked like Doug Fister was in good shape to pick up the win. Unfortunately, the Nationals bullpen couldn't hold the lead and ultimately allowed the Braves to knot the game up at 6 in the 8th inning. The Nationals are very lucky, though and they have Bryce Harper on their team. After Yunel Escobar singled, Werth was unable to get anything going, but Harper came up to the plate and bailed the team out by hitting a no doubt about it home run to center field. The Nationals stole the series from the Braves and now they go for the sweep today. The Braves will send Alex Wood to the mound and the Nationals will send Jordan Zimmermann as his opposition. If the Nationals win today, they'll be 2 games over .500, if they lose they will be right at .500. The Nationals have been playing well lately and need to keep it going to catch up to then ultimately take over the Mets.
Young Alex Wood has been pretty good for the Braves, despite his somewhat high ERA, at 4.32. His FIP tells a better story, sitting at 3.29. Wood seems to have a few irregularities, such as a low K/9 and a a high BB/9 when compared to his career totals. While this is only his 3rd season, it's fair to say Wood can likely improve upon his 2015 at any moment. While he is 1-2 so far this year, he will likely luck into more wins at some point. Wood's last 2 games have been nothing to write home about, going only 5 frames on April 29th and allowing 5 runs. His next game on May 4th wasn't good either when he only lasted 4.1 innings. Wood figures to have a good day given his last couple of rough games, but it is the job of the Nationals to make sure that today is not that day. Against the Nationals, he's had something of a mixed bag, while allowing a lot of base runners he doesn't get hit exceptionally hard, but the Nationals do hit him pretty well.
Wood vs. Current Nationals
Jordan Zimmermann has been able to bring his ERA down (now at 4.15) a little bit in his last couple of games, but his FIP is as good as it's ever been, sitting at 3.32 which is well within career norms. While Zimmermann's stingy walk rate remains unchanged, his K/9 seems down versus what you'd normally see out of him, being 5.7 in 2015 instead of his 7.4 career rate. Strike outs are not the biggest thing, but it is weird to see it go down a little bit. His velocity seems to be down as well, but as long as he's getting outs it doesn't matter how hard he throws. The big right hander's last 2 games have been pretty great, seeing him go 7 frames in each matchup and allowing a total of 4 earned runs in that time. Oh, and he only walked 1 guy in those 14 innings. Pretty solid all around. Jordan Zimmermann matches well with the Braves' Alex Wood as they both have the same general numbers against their opposition. The current Braves lineup does have a lower OPS, however.
Zimmermann vs. Current Braves