The Nationals may not be able to beat the Braves, but tonight they’ll play the kind of also-ran they have feasted on. Since the start of 2013, the Nationals are 8-29 against the 2013 NL division winners (St. Louis, Los Angeles and Atlanta) and 85-52 against all other teams. The former record is a problem that stings after this weekend. But the latter matters, too — the key to winning a division is beating up on teams you’re supposed to beat up on.
The Nationals can continue to beat up on the lower rungs of the NL East tonight. Jordan Zimmermann allowed five runs in less than two innings in his last outing against the Marlins. The Nationals came back to win, but Zimmermann will still try to redeem one of the worst start of his career. Left-hander Brad Hand takes the mound for the Marlins. Talk about the game right here.