Why Can’t Washington Nationals Beat Atlanta Braves?

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

They hung tough, but once again the Washington Nationals were baffled by the Atlanta Braves in 10 innings, the latest defeat coming on a Justin Upton walk off home run.

Washington has been downright horrific against Atlanta in 2013, as they are now 3-11 after going 10-8 against the Braves in 2012, and have been outscored 52-28 and are having their worst offensive days.

Atlanta has beaten Washington in every category possible, which was expected to be the other way around, with Washington having everything but a superior bullpen, and even with key injuries, Atlanta has still been better. What’s more, Atlanta has been able to overcome just about every negative Washington was able to overcome in 2012, especially with their more balanced lineup with the additions of guys like Upton.

So, is Washington this bad, or is Atlanta this good?

In 2013, it’s been a combination of the two. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong for Washington has gone wrong, and the Nationals simply have been unable to overcome any of those negative situations. In 2012, they had no major pitching injuries, and the positional injuries were easily overcome by young bench players either playing over their heads or benefiting from starting that season in the minors, or just being able to take advantage of pitchers that do not know them.

Regardless, Atlanta has been able to start strong and never look back, and pretty much has seen their season be the complete antithesis of Washington’s season. Whether it’s the pressure of being the hunted rather than the hunter, or simply a season gone wrong, something about this Atlanta team seems to seriously baffle Washington. It’s a sad, maddening fact, but it’s the truth.

And be prepared, Washington fans, 2012 and 2013 are just the beginning.

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