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Nationals cause a nightmare for Kevin Gausman as Braves lose, 14-4

So, this was a rough night.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Gausman’s worst outing of his career was basically the turning point, as he allowed seven runs in the first two innings and put the Braves into a deficit that they were hard-pressed to get themselves out of.

The first inning was just about the quietest drubbing that you could imagine a pitcher taking. There were no extra-base hits during the top of the first inning for the Washington Nationals. Instead, they just kept poking away at Kevin Gausman until they had completely overwhelmed him with four runs in one inning.

All-in-all, Gausman gave up five singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly. All of those tiny cuts were enough to completely derail whatever the Braves had planned for tonight. The obvious hope at that point was that Gausman would be able to put that bad inning past him and move on through the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The Nationals continued to pummel him, as they led off the second inning with a single, stolen base, walk, triple and then another single. That was enough to finish Gausman’s night, and then Touki Toussaint came in and immediately hit the first batter he saw and then gave up a walk on the next at-bat. Fortunately, Washington only pushed one run past from that point forward, but at that point it was 8-0.

Touki stopped the bleeding, but only for a little bit since he still gave up a homer to Juan Soto in the fourth inning. The fifth inning was when Dan Winkler entered the game and if all hope was not lost already, it had completely evaporated by the end of the inning. The Nationals made up for their lack of power against Gausman by just teeing off on Winkler. A triple, two walks, a double and a home run from Matt Adams later, the Nationals had put yet another crooked number on the board and it was now 14-0.

At this point, the only drama left was whether or not Anibal Sanchez would throw a perfect game. Through five innings, the perfect game seemed like a possibility because Anibal Sanchez came back to SunTrust Park and was on track to pitch the game of his life. For 5.1 innings, the Braves had no answer for what Anibal Sanchez was giving them. That was until Ozzie Albies managed to loop one into center field for a single, ending the perfect game bid right then and there.

This actually sparked some life in Atlanta’s offense, but only after Sanchez left the game in the seventh inning. The Braves figured out Kyle McGowin in a hurry, as Max Fried (yes, the pinch-hitting pitcher) led off the seventh with a single. Two singles later, the bases were loaded for Austin Riley and he gave the home crowd something to cheer for by slamming one into the left field seats to put the Braves on the board in the grandest manner possible.

That was about it for excitement as far as the Braves were concerned. It’s always nice to see Austin Riley do his thing like that, but other than that, it was an extremely rough night for the Braves and they’ll have to use the day off tomorrow to find a way to recover from these two tough losses in division. They’ll have their next chance on Friday night as the Detroit Tigers come into town for a weekend series.

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