Braves win, remind Nats to focus on NL wild-card race

washington nationalsNot even Max Scherzer coming into Friday’s showdown with Atlanta seemingly at full strength would be enough for the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

And it turns out, Scherzer was not at full strength, or anywhere near, allowing three Braves runs in five innings of work in a 5-0 Nats loss.

The win reduces the Braves’ magic number for clinching the NL East to six, and if it wasn’t already abundantly clear, it’s time for the Nationals to focus on the NL wild card.

While Scherzer (10-6, 2.65 ERA) was struggling to get through five, needing 99 pitches to get 15 outs, Atlanta starter Mike Soroka (12-4, 2.57 ERA) was just as masterful, limiting the Nats to one hit in six scoreless innings, as Washington mustered just three hits on the night.

The Chicago Cubs defeated Pittsburgh 17-8 Friday night, so the Nats lead for the top wild-card spot is down to two and a half games.

Story by Chris Graham

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