Game #114 After last night’s loss, this game looks like a “must win”.

Juan Soto Batting Practice; Photo by Don Henderson for TalkNats

On the Vegas line, the Braves are the overwhelming favorite tonight as you can imagine with Atlanta’s All-Star righty Mike Foltynewicz on the mound against lefty Tommy Milone who was a Triple-A regular just three weeks ago. This game just feels like a “must win” game for the Washington Nationals probably because it really is.

With Foltynewicz, the three starters the Nationals will have faced so far in this series were all 1st round draft picks acquired via trades by the Braves. Max Fried was a 1st round pick acquired in the Justin Upton trade. Sean Newcomb was a 1st round pick acquired in the Andrelton Simmons trade. Foltynewicz was a 1st round pick acquired in the Evan Gattis trade. Add to that Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson were acquired in the same Shelby Miller trade.

What the previous Braves regime did quite well is hitting “home runs” on trades. The only starting pitcher they have who is homegrown is Julio Teheran. In Rizzo’s tenure with the Nationals, he has mostly been trading away prospects instead of developing them.

The Nationals are at a crossroads now. They are about at the point of win-or-go-home with less than 50 games remaining in the regular season. This veteran Nationals team could have used that win last night which they did not get, and that puts them in their current situation. A week ago, general manager Mike Rizzo could have been that guy who was acquiring prospects for his veteran players, but instead the Nationals held firm.

Speaking of Vegas, sometimes you have to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. While most fans were in favor of “going for it”, it’s the GM and ownership that sometimes must make the tough decisions. So here we are. Win tonight and the Nationals move ahead of where they were two days ago and then we can look to tomorrow.

The Nationals also have a roster decision to make on Kelvin Herrera who had an MRI this morning on his sore shoulder.

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:  Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV:  MASN; MLB.TV app out-of-network
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

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