Today’s 1:35 pm matchup at Nationals Park will end Round One of the Battle of the Beltways between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. The Nats will try to avoid being swept for the second time this season and end a three-game losing streak, while the O's will try to hit double-digits with their 10th straight win on the road.
Stephen Strasburg will take on the role of the traditional ace and losing-streak stopper to right the Nats’ ship after his worst start of the season last Tuesday, giving up four runs on seven hits in just four innings of work. It was one of the worst starts of his short career, and he’ll certainly look for a big bounce back today. Meanwhile, O’s starter Wei-Yen Chen has been ridiculously impressive in his first MLB season, going 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA with 32 Ks and just 14 BBs in 44 innings.
The Nationals’ line up certainly isn’t going to garner much excitement today, though. Steve Lombardozzi, who is hitting .324 with a .400 OBP and 0.5 WAR in just 83 plate appearances, will be riding the bench again today after a 2-for-5 night with an RBI last night. Five of the Nats eight position players have batting averages below .250 today. If you include Strasburg, he’s hitting .286 in 15 plate appearances. The long list of injuries continues to be a huge problem for the Nats, and they may have to make a roster move soon if they want to stay relevant this season.
The Nats marginally depressing line up is below.
- Danny Espinosa - 2B (.207, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 48 K)
- Bryce Harper - CF (.230, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 9 BB)
- Ryan Zimmerman - 3B (.250, 2 HR, 12 RBI)
- Adam LaRoche - 1B (.313, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 20 BB)
- Ian Desmond - SS (.271, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 36 K)
- Xavier Nady - RF (.145, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 16 K in 69 AB)
- Tyler Moore - LF (.200, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
- Jesus Flores - C (.236, 0 HR, 5 RBI)
- Stephen Strasburg - P (3-1, 2.25 ERA, 10.5 K/9)