<announcer voice> Previously, on Orioles vs. Nationals...
- Stephen Strasburg did Stephen Strasburg things for four innings, and then the Orioles’ offense did Orioles’ offense things, knocking him out of the game with five runs in the fifth inning.
- The Nationals’ ground crew had an epic fail, falling all over themselves while trying to roll out a hopelessly tangled tarp, turning a brief 20-minute shower into an unplayable, muddy field, suspending the game.
- Asher Wojciechowski also pitched.
And now, the dramatic conclusion of: Orioles vs. Nationals!
I lied. The conclusion wasn’t really that dramatic. And for the Orioles, that’s just fine. They resumed the suspended game with a lead and uneventfully completed the win with four scoreless innings.
So let’s jump right back in, shall we? The Nationals took the field in the sixth with a different pitcher than when the game was suspended, with Kyle Finnegan replacing Sam Freeman, who went on the IL yesterday with a strained left flexor mass. The two runners already on base, though, belonged to Freeman, making for an unusual moment when Dwight Smith Jr. scored on a Bryan Holaday infield single. Hence, Freeman was charged with a run while on the injured list. Rough night for him. That extended the O’s lead to 6-2.
Paul Fry, who had gotten the last out of the fifth inning Sunday before the game was suspended, remained on the mound for the sixth tonight. He set down the Nationals 1-2-3. Miguel Castro, though, got into some trouble in the seventh. After retiring the first two batters, he couldn’t find the strike zone, issuing back-to-back walks to bring up pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo. With Juan Soto looming on deck as the potential tying run, Brandon Hyde turned to lefty Tanner Scott, who blew away Difo on strikes to escape the jam.
Nice job by Tanner, but that was Castro’s third straight shaky outing in a row. Since starting the year with seven straight scoreless outings, Miguel has allowed nine baserunners and four runs in his last three. Something to keep an eye on, I suppose.
The Nationals’ eighth and ninth innings were pitched by Dakota Bacus, who is not, as I would’ve thought based on his name, a villain from a John Wayne western. He’s actually a 29-year-old right-hander who was making his major league debut, which is a pretty nice story. Unlike the Phillies’ poor Connor Brogdon the previous night, the Orioles didn’t hit a home run on Bacus’ first pitch in the majors. In fact, he worked two perfect innings. Nice debut, rook!
The Orioles’ bullpen finished things off from there. Scott worked a scoreless eighth, erasing a leadoff walk on a double play, and Mychal Givens put up a zero in the ninth, but not before putting two runners on base.
And there you have it! The two teams took the field at 5:05 and the game was over just an hour later. Who says baseball is slow?
Travis Lakins Sr. was credited with the win despite not throwing a pitch tonight. Neat trick! (He notched one out in the fourth inning on Sunday, which is how he became the pitcher of record.) Strasburg took the loss despite also not throwing a pitch, and in fact, he’s the scheduled starter for the night game of this unusual doubleheader. So it’s possible the Orioles could hand Strasburg two losses in one night. Not too shabby.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for August 9/August 14?
This poll is closed
Hanser Alberto (2-for-5, double, two RBIs)
Bryan Holaday (2-for-4, two RBIs)
Anthony Santander (1-for-4, two RBIs)
Paul Fry (pitched on both nights, retired all four batters he faced)