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Stephen Strasburg and Danny Espinosa are not impressed by the Braves

Apr 13, 2013, 8:05 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Getty Images

The Braves are 10-1 behind the National League’s fifth-best OPS and best ERA. And they just took the first two games against the defending NL East champion Nationals. Nats starter Stephen Strasburg and second baseman Danny Espinosa are not impressed, though. Via Chase Hughes of CSN Washington:

“They’re good, I don’t think they’re better than us,” Danny Espinosa said. “They’re a good ballclub, they have talent. They’re hot right now, they only lost one game, but they’re hot. It all evens out.”

And Strasburg:

“Honestly, I think our lineup’s better,” he said. “They’re hot right now. It’s early and it’s not about how many wins you necessarily finish up with in April, it’s how many you have at the end of the year.”

  1. chill1184 - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Another story line for the NL East? Why the hell not?

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    One winning record ever for the franchise, 22 career wins for the pitcher. Yea, they should be cocky

    2013 Gnats = 2007 Mets

    • jaguar0413 - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      2013 Phillies = 2013 Phillies. Sorry bro, you can’t change that.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:18 AM

        So the Phillies situation means the Nationals should be saying that the Braves?

        You see, the idea is to have a comeback that has anything to do the original.

    • GoneYickitty - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:17 AM

      Don’t forget Danny Espinosa … that’s where the street cred is. He and his .720 career OPS know offensive talent when they see it. Would that tool and his weaksauce production at his easy to play position even make the Braves roster and yet he’s a starter for the Nats. Ok, I exaggerate, but he really isn’t good enough to open his mouth – ever.

      The Nats definitely have a few better pieces in their lineup, but I don’t see any way that, as a whole, it’s even close to what the Braves are running out there now. If the Nats win the division it will be because of pitching and I think it is entirely possible they will win it.

  3. thehairychestsportsblog - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    As a Nats fan im sick of hearing our MASN broadcast team talk about how good our bullpen is, Clippard and Storen are overrated and I can see one of them being traded for a lefty specialist. I am also sick of the stupid throwing errors. Zimmerman is the face of our franchise but he has had throwing issues his whole career.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      I don’t think the relievers are necessarily overrated. I think they were terrific last year. But I also believe that you just can’t count on relievers (other than Mariano Rivera) from one year to the next. Bullpens are a crapshoot.

      I’m sick of the MASN announcers, period. I’m full aware that team broadcasters are employees of the team, but they really act as a wing of the PR department. I thought their cheerleading would chill out once the Nats started winning, but it hasn’t.

      They’re a great team. I really think they’re the best in baseball. But it wouldn’t kill Carpenter and FP to say a critical word now and then.

  4. sgtsauce - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Nats should just be quiet… let the season play out and don’t give the Braves bulletin board material.

  5. mungman69 - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    The Nats might end up behind the Mets.

  6. randygnyc - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    I’ll say it. I’m impressed with the braves and I’ve been watching baseball almost as long as Strasburg and Espinoza have been alive, combined. And Hudson, well, he’s a friggin stud.

    • watchdawg1103 - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:44 AM

      I agree. I’m impressed. Their bullpen is good and they are doing things offensively without Freeman and McCann and without BJ Upton and Heyward going yet.

  7. hittfamily - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    If this was PFT, we’d have quotes about “disrespected” and “shocked the world”. Those quotes seem pretty tame.

    • chill1184 - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Because most of us here on HBT have some kind of grip on sanity?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        Well, HBT isn’t always the Harvard debating club, but luckily we have PFT to make us look good.

        Oh – and last year the Nats schocked the world, but these quotes have disrepected the Braves :)

  8. Tarkus - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    I’m guessing the Braves aren’t real impressed by the Nats, either.

  9. mississippimusicman - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    I’m a Braves fan myself, but I can still recognize that this insane run has “small sample size” written all over it. It’s still annoying for them to say what they said, though, and it reeks of sour grapes. I think it’s going to be a close race all season long, and this kind of jaw-flapping just makes the rivalry more interesting.

    Compare those quotes to Tim Hudson’s classy take on the situation (from the AJC’s post-game quotes):
    “We were fortunate to win last night, and we knew today was going to be a tough game. But I think they probably came in with the same attitude as us, that it was going to be a hopefully well-pitched game for both sides. I think it was. Couple of key breaks for us.”
    He was respectful of the Nationals, went out of his way not to rub it in, and complimented Strasburg’s performance. I’ll take that over “Natitude” any day of the week.

  10. vilelabyrinth - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    the Uptons look great…we all know Washington has good pitching and Harper and and and….everyone relax and play ball!

    • djpostl - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      The Uptons look great? As in plural?

      Funny, I thought B.J. was hitting .105 (4 for 38) so far this year.

      • vilelabyrinth - May 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Hmmm

  11. Kevin Gillman - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    When Strasburg finishes a season in October, then I will care about what he says.

    • evanwins - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      How bout when he finally pitches into the 8th inning? Yeah, that’s right, Strasburg has NEVER pitched into the 8th inning. That’s some ace.

      • Kevin Gillman - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Really? I never knew that, so yeah, an ACE can always get you into the 8th inning. When he throws his first complete game, we can all celebrate along with him.

  12. shea801 - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    So the Nationals are basically the MLB version of the Jets?

  13. atltoarizona - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    I felt bad for the Nats for a while, but now they get one good season under their belt and they’re the kings of the world? Not okay. If they can repeat the level that they played at last year then so be it, I’ll admit I’m wrong. But until then, stop acting like you’re defending WS Champs.

    • jaguar0413 - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM

      They’re acting like defending NL East Champs which is what they are. The comments aren’t disrespectful of Atlanta in any way. Strasburg and Espinosa simply believe the Nats are a better team. What’s wrong with that?

      Oh yeah…it’s fucking APRIL!!! None of these games mean shit in the end.

      • Shafer's Dealer - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:02 AM

        “Oh yeah…it’s fucking APRIL!!! None of these games mean shit in the end.”

        I hear ya… Can’t wait for Opening Day so we can watch games that really count.
        Thankfully you wont be tossing and turning at night in October thinking about these April losses that don’t count towards the seasons final record…

      • borisgonzalez11 - May 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        Tell that to the 2012 Angels. They practically lost the division and a playoff spot in April.

    • flavadave10 - Apr 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Their fans are worse. Probably the most arrogant fan base. This coming from an Orioles fan who has to deal with Yankees and Red Sox fans.

  14. Walk - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    I am a braves fan but I do not find those quotes offensive. Personally I think the nats got a better rotation, braves got a better pen, and the lineup likely going to be close to a tie, maybe edging towards the nats depending on uggla and simmons and braves 3b platoon vs the corresponding nats at that position. Gonna be a great year to watch both teams play.

  15. jrobitaille23 - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Has anyone noticed that Strasburg is nibbling more this season? He throws way too many breaking balls. I am not sure what is going on but his fastball is sitting at 94-96 and it’s straight. I am wondering if he is injured or really taking it easy. When you see younger guys than him like Fernandez/Harvey bringing the heat and looking like they have better stuff it sort of makes you wonder if maybe Stras is a little overhyped. He’s still good but he is no Verlander or Kershaw yet he got way more hype than they did.

  16. mudhead123 - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    The braves are hands down better than the nationals. Not even close

    • sumerduckman - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:52 AM

      The Braves have a much better bullpen. That just might be the difference come October 1.

    • djpostl - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Come back in September lol. Braves won’t be within 5 games when it’s all done.

      • flavadave10 - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Just like the Nats had game 5 of the NLDS won in the first inning?

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Aug 7, 2013 at 7:12 AM

        Haha.

  17. livepredictor - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Honestly? No, just make something up.

  18. misterj167 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    The Braves don’t have a superstar ace like Strasburg or Gio, nor do they have a true superstar like Harper. There’s no one on the team that will win 20-25 games or hit 40-50 homers and drive in 120 runs, though admittedly there’s some potential in Justin Upton and even Freddie Freeman.

    But what the Braves have are five solid starters, a strong bullpen, professional hitters all through the lineup and a great bench, the latter two which they were sorely lacking last year. They can be stopped by great pitching (Cliff Lee earlier in the year) but for the most part they make pitchers work hard and throw a lot of pitches and force you to use your pen a lot earlier than you like. And if your pitching isn’t at that level, they can absolutely wreck you. They also have great speed on the basepaths and stellar defense. Keep in mind they won 94 games last year despite their hitting problems, they can be expected to win between 96 and 102 games this year. As can the Nats.

    True it’s early in the season and the Nats have gotten a lot of hype at the beginning, and it’s entirely possible that the Braves will stumble near the end, but on the whole I think the division is going to be a tossup between the two and considering they’re both young teams, it should be that way for years to come.

    • baseballer28 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      I would take the whole entire starting outfield of the Braves over that primadonna classless bitch Harper. 40-50, 120 RBI’s? Your fucking smoking crack or something dude. Justin Upton is going to hit more HR and drive in more RBI then Harper will. And not be an annoying asshole while doing it.

      • djpostl - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        I love how you don’t mention that classless, loafing ass bitch B.J. Upton. Talk about an assclown that just takes days off and has run ins with his own teammates lol.

  19. baseballer28 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Harper plays the game wrong…all this look at me crap, the eyeblack and shit like that. Every pitcher in the NL should bean this guy. If he’d play in another era, he’d probably would have gotten his ass kicked alot.

  20. schmedley69 - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Hey Strasburg, try pitching an entire season without getting babied before you run your mouth. The media loves to hand out trophies in March. The problem is, you actually have to play an entire 162-game schedule and win 3 rounds in the playoffs before you get the real trophy, and the team that wins the real trophy is usually not the same one that media slobbered over in the pre-season. Still not buying that the Nats are a juggernaut. They have cracks. All that being said, everyone knows that the Braves have always been the kings of April and May, but wilt when it counts. They shouldn’t go getting big heads either.

  21. wpjohnson - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I suppose Strasberg is a decent pitcher. He sure gets a lot of gushing, though unearned, publicity. However, he certainly is no Maddux, Glavine, or Smoltz. He has a long way to go before he can be compared to Avery.

    • djpostl - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Once he blows his arm out he’ll be Avery reincarnate.

  22. djpostl - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    They’re most likely correct.

    Braves took two games because one was a gift. Over the long haul I like the Nats chances better than the Braves, which isn’t to say the Braves aren’t a good team…I just think the Nationals really are slightly better.

    • borisgonzalez11 - May 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      ?????

  23. flavadave10 - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Are they impressed now?

  24. girlsknowsportstoo - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Nationals win one division title and lose in first round of playoffs. They are a frickin cocky team for having their first taste of success…but look who their “leader” is…Werthless. Braves are playing great ball–but it is April. Let the season play out and see what happens in October. Last I heard the Giants won the WS as the hot team in baseball. The Cards in 2011. It’s a long season.

  25. realgone2 - Apr 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    I think this sums up the Braves vs. gnats series.

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