June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
Well… here we are again. A month ago the Nationals, the Orioles, and the Battle of the Beltway was the feel good story of the Major Leagues. Both teams were outperforming expectations and squarely in the playoff hunt. Guess what? They still are! The rivalry continues tonight at Camden Yards as Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.92) takes on the resurgent Jason Hammel (7-2, 2.87). The Orioles took the first series winning two games, but can they continue to trend tonight?
The Nationals finally got back to their winning ways after being swept by the Yankees and a pine tar incident. The combination of Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez seemed to be the perfect medicine for the Nats as they took the last two games of a four game set against the Rays. Despite only being two and a half games out of first place in the AL East the O's are also looking to replicate the Nationals bounce back. After sweeping the Pirates and taking a series from the Braves, the Orioles were swept by the Mets and RA Dickey's nasty stuff. Amazingly the Nats are still three and a half games up in the NL East despite the Mets sweep.
Beyond tonight's matchup tomorrow will feature Edwin Jackson (3-4, 3.02) versus surprise Orioles pitcher Wei-Yen Chen (7-2, 3.36). Chen was the lone losing pitcher for the O's in the last series for the Nationals. He didn't even last for five innings and got lit up for six earned runs. It will be interesting to see how the Taiwanese rookie responds tomorrow.
Sunday's matinee marks Ross Detweiler's (4-3, 3.34) return to the rotation as he replaces the struggling Chien-Ming Wang. The former first rounder will take on the disappointing Jake Arrieta (3-9, 5.83) who gave up four runs in seven inning versus the Mets this week.
Since the game is in Baltimore look for Michael Morse to shift back to the designated hitter spot and I would expect to see a lot of Nat's rookie Tyler Moore. Remember the Nats are 6-0 at AL East teams this year.