Tonight marks the start of interleague play, as we get the Orioles and the Nationals hooking up for game one of the Beltway Series. Just for the record, I think interleague play is dumb and I’d gladly get rid of it. Anyway, the Nats have been surprisingly decent this year, coming into the game with a 21-21 record. Washington reliever Tyler Clippard has as many wins as the Baltimore starting rotation combined (7). The Birds will try to take the lead there, with David Hernandez looking for his first W since last August. Opposing him will be lefty Scott Olsen.
Washington has a pretty potent middle of the order. Dunn currently has more doubles (12) than home runs (9), which he hasn’t done in a season since 2002 (28 and 26, respectively). He seems to be putting the ball in play more than he used to (fewer K’s, fewer BB). Zim is awesome, by the way. Middle of the order hitter and elite defender. Pudge I forgot was still around, somewhat.
He doesn’t throw hard or have a particularly great fastball, but mixing in so many change-ups probably makes the pitch more effective. None of his stuff is really all that impressive, but Olsen’s been getting batters to expand the zone and they’re having a relatively tough time making contact with those pitches. Sadly most of the O’s hitters are prone to chasing pitches.
Tejada has fallen into a slump since his nice start, and Jones hasn’t taken a walk in almost two weeks. Luckily Luke is raking.
As bad as the 0-5 record and 5.84 ERA look, Hernandez hasn’t been particularly unlucky. Terrible control and flyball tendencies don’t go well with only an OK ability to miss bats (at best).