Sincen 2004, the bad behavior of the Baltimore Orioles and Peter Angelos has been rewarded constantly by MLB, bad Washingtonians and a significant chunk of the D.C. sports media. As a Washington Nationals fan and native Washingtonian, it is pretty frustrating. That adds the significance to the interleague series the two teams play in annually. The deck is stacked against the Nats in so many ways — the field is the only place they get a fair shot.
Edwin Jackson gave up a run in the 1st inning and then keep the ledger clear. On the other side, Jake Arrieta was doing the same. A late home run by Ian Desmond tied it, but in the 11th, Nick Markakis homered off of Ryan Mattheus (firework, indeed) to put the bad guys ahead. The Nat responded in the bottom of the inning, but rather than taking advantage of Desmond hot bat, he bunted on pitches outside the strike zone. The Nats did not help themselves that night or throughout most of the series.
Blogger Night! I’ll have a few posts about Blogger Night, but for now, here’s what you need to know about the game. Ross Detwiler was terrible. Detwiler got to two strikes on most of the early batters, but he couldn’t get them out. He gave up 6 runs in 5 innings, including two homers. It was ugly. The Nats fought back though. Several times late in the game, they had the tying run at the plate. Ryan Zimmerman homered with the Nats down to their last strike to get within one, but that was all they could muster. The near comeback helped take away some of the bitterness.
Stephen Strasburg went down in a 3-0 hole after a Bryce Harper error allowed two earned runs. The Nats fought back though and took the lead on an opposite field homer by Jesus Flores. Strasburg then came up, swinging for the fences with 2 outs and no runners on. He put the third pitch he saw into the visiting bullpen for his first career home run. Having seen him in batting practice on Saturday, I knew it was a matter of when, not if he would homer this year. He was hitting well in BP. He also singled in his first at bat and scored on Harper’s triple off of Markakis’ glove. Then Strasburg settled down and started blowing Baltimore hitters away, but left after 5 innings with biceps tightness which sounds scary. The Nats kept their spikes on the O’s throats and run away with a 9-3 win.
More to come.