Chopcast: Braves respond versus Nats, more tests await

Chopcast: Braves respond versus Nats, more tests await

Published Aug. 11, 2014 1:20 p.m. ET

Mired in an eight-game losing streak and down in the National League East, the Braves responded by taking two of three from the division-leading Nationals, punctuated by Alex Wood's gem in Sunday's finale.

But it gets no easier for Atlanta going forward.

In the latest Chopcast, writers Knox Bardeen, Jay Clemons and Cory McCartney discuss the National series, plus look ahead to a home stand that continues with four games against the Dodgers and three with the A's at Turner Field.

Also in this episode:


-- The gift from the scheduling gods as the Braves avoid the Dodgers' Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw and A's Jeff Samardzija.

-- Leadership was a point of manager Fredi Gonzalez's pregame talk Friday. Who are and who should the Braves get that leadership from?

-- Chris Johnson's aggressive approach, which has already seen him strikeout more times this season (117) than last (116).

-- The weekend play of Justin Upton, who homered twice, and Freddie Freeman, who went 5 for 11 (.455) with a home run, two RBI and two walks in the series.