The "Battle of the Beltways" commenced tonight as the took a short trip southward to play the Washington Nationals in Nationals Park; the "rivalry" couldn't possibly have been more blatantly plugged by MASN.
Rich Hill performed very well once again as he gave up a mere two earned over 5.2 innings. Dave has pulled Hill pretty early in both of his starts this year, likely in an effort to ease him back into the major league routine, but Rich has otherwise looked pretty good with an absolutely nasty curveball.
Hill's struggles last year centered around his high walk rate, and although Rich seems to be improving this season, he does still run many counts quite high, and one of his four walks tonight did come back to hurt him as Nick Johnson reached on a free pass, and was subsequently driven in by Ryan Zimmerman's .
Our top two batters in Roberts and Jones were quite successful tonight, but Nick , Aubrey Huff, and Melvin Mora combined to go 1 for 14. Credit 22 year old Jordan for pitching a pretty good game, but he left numerous hittable pitches over the plate which our "sluggers" simply missed on.
In the top of the twelfth with two outs already recorded, pitcher Danys Baez reached base on a weak dribbler up the third base line, despite the fact that he practically ran away from the ball as it crossed home plate. Baez was advanced to third on a ground rule double by Brian Roberts, and eventually both Roberts and Danys were driven home on another double by Adam Jones.
Although I am still discouraged by the front office's decision to cut Pie out of the picture prematurely, Nolan has seized the day as he hit his second career home run tonight en route to going 2 for 5. We previously presumed that Nolan would go back down to Norfolk with Luke coming back, but really is forcing his way onto this team.