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Nationals Vs. Braves: Nationals Look To Start Second Half Of Season On The Right Track

The Washington Nationals kick off the second half of their season on Friday night against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta and they hope the same luck and success that put them at .500 by the mid-season break continues to be with them. They are going to need it as they will be facing Tim Hudson and a burning Braves team that is beginning to put the heat on the division leading Philadelphia Phillies.

The first half of the Nationals 2011 season began with a pitching performance from right-hander Livan Hernandez on Opening Day. The second half will begin the same way only the Nationals hope the results are different (Nats lost 2-0 on Opening Day). Hernandez will be looking to redeem himself from that Opening Day performance and his last performance which entered the Nationals history books as he gave up six runs in one inning which acted as a catalyst to the Nationals blowing an eight run lead against the Chicago Cubs, the largest blown lead in franchise history.

Behind Hernandez will be the usual cast of characters. The Nationals big guns in Danny Espinosa, Michael Morse, Laynce Nix and Wilson Ramos are all in the first line-up of the second half and hope to continue their first half success. Right fielder Jayson Werth and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman are rested and hopefully relaxed and they will seek to break out of a string of slumps and bad luck.

First pitch is at 7:35 P.M.

Nationals Line-Up

Roger Bernadina CF

Danny Espinosa 2B

Ryan Zimmerman 3B

Michael Morse 1B

Laynce Nix LF

Jayson Werth RF

Wilson Ramos C

Ian Desmond SS

Livan Hernandez  SP