Nats looking to carry big bats into Atlanta

Nats looking to carry big bats into Atlanta

Nats looking to carry big bats into Atlanta
ATLANTA -- The Nationals are dealing with elements seemingly everywhere they turn.

After playing in the altitude, a mile above sea level in Denver, the club returned east to be greeted with triple-digit temperatures in Atlanta on Friday.

Washington split with the Rockies in the four-game set, but the Nationals averaged 8.75 runs per game. Now, manager Davey Johnson said he wants to see his team keep the offense going back down at sea level.

"You hope they throw pitchers that hang a lot of breaking balls and stuff like that," Johnson joked, referring to the upcoming series at Turner Field. "Atlanta's always been known for having a good pitching staff, but one thing about coming from Colorado is your confidence gets up. The mental aspect of hitting is very important."

Most notably, Ryan Zimmerman (7-for-19 with two home runs, three doubles) and Michael Morse (9-for-19 with a double and a home run) had big series in Denver, boosting their stats.

"They can rest easier when they look up on the board and see their batting average is not as embarrassing."

As for the heat -- temperatures reached 106 degrees on Friday -- Johnson doesn't mind it.

"This feels good," he said. "I like it, it's more humid. It's better for everybody."