Game 51: Orioles (27-23) @ Nationals (26-24), 1:05

Rob Carr

It is Memorial Day. Thank a veteran and remember the ones you have lost.

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It is Memorial Day, which means that at some point, my dad will find himself watching A Bridge Too Far, shouting things at the television as if he can alter the outcome of Operation Market Garden. I may be tempted to make fun of this tendency, except there is a very high chance I will shout something at today's Orioles game. Maybe to stop swinging at garbage, or to stop throwing garbage, or perhaps to Bobby DIckerson, to not send that runner.

We all have no control over this in the slightest, and yet, our hearts are fully invested in this thing we cannot control. It's all a bit ridiculous, and it's also fun.

Entering this series, the Orioles are precisely one game better than the Nationals. That would be erased entirely with a loss today. How has this happened? I actually have no idea, because knowing and understanding would require my paying attention to the Nats, which I regret I must spend the next four days doing. To hear the mainstream baseball intelligentsia tell it, the young phenom Bryce Harper and ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg are single-handedly propelling the Nats to dominance. They are 4.5 games behind division-leading Atlanta.

We must all prepare ourselves for nigh-unbearable pain as this series takes place. That's not me being flip about the Orioles chances of winning games. Rather, because it's the Orioles and the Nationals, we will have to have that yearly tradition that whatever idiot or series of idiots at MASN initially conceived, and continue to employ, the combined Orioles and Nationals TV booth. We must endure the unendurable, namely, several innings of Bob Carpenter and an entire game of F.P. Santangelo.

If a Nationals fan existed, perhaps they might be displeased to put up with Jim Hunter and Mike Bordick, but why worry about such outlandish hypotheticals?

Let's talk a little about the game. Gio Gonzalez is the pitcher for the Nationals, and you know my long-held belief is that the Orioles suck against Gonzalez. Harper is not in the lineup for the Nats, perhaps because he suffered some injury while applying gigantic swabs of eye black. I actually have no idea what injury may be ailing him, because again, that would require paying attention to the Nats. I'm sure Carpenter will tell us one thousand times.

Jason Hammel is pitching for the Orioles, and manager Buck Showalter has insisted that if there was a save situation in the 9th inning, Jim Johnson would be his guy. Let's not talk any more about the game.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Nick Markakis - RF Denard Span - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Steve Lombardozzi - 2B
J.J. Hardy - SS Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
Adam Jones - CF Adam LaRoche - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Ian Desmond - SS
Matt Wieters - C Tyler Moore - LF
Steve Pearce - LF Roger Bernadina - RF
Yamaico Navarro - 2B Kurt Suzuki - C
Jason Hammel - RHP Gio Gonzalez - LHP

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