The Nationals and Braves have already produced great baseball theater in 2013. Through just two games, it’s clear this rivalry could be among the most exciting in the game this season. Both teams are good and lined with superstars, a dream matchup for baseball fans.
The season is still in its infancy, but so far the Braves have had the better start. They are now 10-1 after taking the second game of their series with the Nats while Washington is 7-4. Each team has 151 more games to play and when it’s all said and done, the Nationals still believe they will end up on top.
“They’re good, I don’t think they’re better than us,” Danny Espinosa said. “They’re a good ballclub, they have talent. They’re hot right now, they only lost one game, but they’re hot. It all evens out.”
Stephen Strasburg faced the Braves’ lineup on Saturday and fared well despite taking the loss. After seeing the new look order with both B.J. and Justin Upton, plus Evan Gattis, perhaps the early candidate for N.L. Rookie of the Year, Strasburg is not overly impressed.
“Honestly, I think our lineup’s better,” he said. “They’re hot right now. It’s early and it’s not about how many wins you necessarily finish up with in April, it’s how many you have at the end of the year.”
A little off-the-field flair never hurt a sports rivalry and these teams figure to be gunning for the division over the course of the next six months. The difference between the Nats and Braves last season was just four games as Washington won 98 and Atlanta won 94. They look rather evenly matched once again this season and the Nats are looking forward to Sunday’s game and having more opportunities to even the score.
“Some of the games last year even the year before, we’ve had some great wins on these guys,” Adam LaRoche said.
“It’s early, we’ll play these guys a bunch.”