Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to make it two in a row today at Camden Yards.
Indeed, the Nationals lineup for this afternoon's game against the Orioles is identical to last night's lineup (aside from the pitcher's spot, of course). Can't fault Jim Riggleman's logic there. We'll just have to wait and see whether there's any carryover from last night's explosion, or whether they revert back to their previous form.
Whether they hit or not, the Nats need to get another quality outing from John Lannan, who was good in his last two appearances after that horrible start in Philadelphia earlier this month. He hasn't earned a win since April 20, though. Perhaps his teammates will reward him with some run support today.
Plenty of updates to come...
NATIONALS at ORIOLES
Where: Camden Yards
Gametime: 4:05 p.m.
TV: MASN, MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 181
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF
STARTING LINEUPS2:37 p.m. -- Before we get to today's contest, a couple of cool statistical notes off last night's game: 1) Wilson Ramos became only the fifth catcher in the live ball era to score five runs in a game, only the second to do that while also homering and tripling, and 2) The Nationals last night became only the fourth team in MLB history to score 17 runs after getting shut out each of the previous two games, the first since 1964.
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
LF Laynce Nix
RF Jayson Werth
DH Matt Stairs
1B Adam LaRoche
C Wilson Ramos
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Jerry Hairston
(P John Lannan)
2B Robert Andino
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis
DH Vladimir Guerrero
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Nolan Reimold
1B Brandon Snyder
(P Jeremy Guthrie)
4:06 p.m. -- This game is underway. Gorgeous afternoon here by the Inner Harbor, 84 degrees as Jeremy Guthrie throws his first pitch to Roger Bernadina.
4:16 p.m. -- Nothing happening for either team in the first inning, with both pitchers retiring the side. Laynce Nix did crush a foul ball as hard and as far as humanly possible, reaching the last row of the second deck to the right of the right-field foul pole. A lone fan sitting up there even caught the ball, drawing some cheers. In other news, Ted Lerner is here today, watching from the first row behind the Nationals' dugout. It's the first road game the Nats' managing principal owner has attended this season.
4:25 p.m. -- Hey, a hit for Adam LaRoche! He had been stuck in an 0-for-26 slump that left his average at an MLB-worst .169. But with a sharp liner to right-center, he snapped that 0-fer and perhaps gained a little confidence back. The same can't be said for Matt Stairs, who struck out looking for the sixth time in 27 at-bats this season. Now batting .074 with 11 K's overall. Still scoreless here as we go to the bottom of the second.
4:40 p.m. -- Sometimes, you need to catch a break. And when you get one, you always need to capitalize. So the Nationals did in the top of the third when, with two on and two out, Orioles first baseman Brandon Snyder booted Nix's sharp bouncer. Jerry Hairston scored easily from third, but so did Ian Desmond, who came charging around from second without missing a step. Nice hustle by Desmond, and nice job by Bo Porter to immediately wave him around. Nats take a 2-0 lead in the third.
4:53 p.m. -- And Lannan can't protect the lead. After getting ahead of every batter in the first two innings, he fell behind Mark Reynolds (leading to a walk) and Nolan Reimold in the third. Reimold then tattooed a pitch into the left-field bleachers, tying the game 2-2.
4:58 p.m. -- Make it 4-2 Orioles after a rare display of sloppy defense from the Nationals. First, Nix booted a base hit to him in left field. Then Desmond double-clutched and wound up with a really weak relay throw to the plate. Seemed to have plenty of time to nail Adam Jones, but it wound up being not all that close. The error also allowed Nick Markakis to advance to second, which put him in position to score on Vladimir Guerrero's sharp single moments later. Rough inning for Lannan and Co.
5:19 p.m. -- Better stuff from Lannan in the fourth. He wound up striking out three in the inning, a rarity for him. Still 4-2 after four.
5:41 p.m. -- I don't like ripping on the guy, because he's genuinely one of the nicest people I've met as a baseball writer. But Matt Stairs has nothing left in the tank. He just grounded into a 4-6-3 double play on the first pitch he saw in the top of the sixth, a killer double play that quashed any hope of a rally there. He's now 2-for-29 this season, and the extra at-bats he's gotten the last two days as DH haven't helped at all. He's just lost at the plate. Still 4-2 Orioles.
5:58 p.m. -- Riggleman let Lannan take the mound to start the seventh, sitting on 93 pitches. It didn't work. Lannan allowed back-to-back doubles to Snyder and Andino, and that's for him. Cole Kimball will enter to face Jones with a man on second, nobody out and the Nats now trailing 5-2.
6:07 p.m. -- Kimball gives up another run, so you can close the book on Lannan: 6+ ip, 9 h, 6 er, 1 bb, 6 k. Not his finest outing.
6:13 p.m. -- This one's getting out of hand. Four straight singles off Kimball have put the Orioles up 8-2.
6:34 p.m. -- Last chance for the Nats. They trail 8-2 heading to the ninth. It'll be Stairs, Morse (who replaced LaRoche at first base) and Ramos due up against Koji Uehara.
6:38 p.m. -- Whoa, Stairs laces an opposite-field double to lead off the ninth. His batting average is back up to .100!
6:40 p.m. -- That'll do it. Nats lose 8-3. Not an especially good ballgame by them, in any facet of the game.