It was U.S. Marine Corps Day at Nationals Park. The pre-game festivities included a rousing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Marine Corps Band, a flyover of four MV-22 “Osprey” helicopters, and a cameo appearance by USMC mascot Chesty XIV (an English bulldog).

The most direct path to a post-season berth is a division title. While the Washington Nationals have clawed their way into second place in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves stand in their way, which is why the current Nats-Braves series is significant. Sadly, Washington starter Erick Fedde surrendered 9 runs in 3-2/3 innings, and the early 9-0 deficit was too much to surmount. Final score: ATL 11, WAS 8.

No home game is complete without a Presidents Race in the middle of the 4th inning, but maybe we should have just stayed home and watched the Democratic candidates debate. –with Kevin Fitzgerald

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