Friday, May 21, 2010

This is (not) Birdland

Well, interleague play has begun in Major League Baseball. The Baltimore Orioles come to town to take on the Nats for a 3 game weekend series in this epic rivalry. HA! Ok, I almost kept a straight face there... It's fun to have a pretend-rival though, eh? God, do I hate Peter Angelos though.

I'll be attending the Sunday game, where the Nats have yet to release a starter. Which is curious, because that's Lannan's scheduled start day. Color me concerned.

When the National Anthem is performed at Nationals Park this 3 day weekend, Nats fans should expect a lot more "OH's" at the end of the Anthem, and a lot of Halloween colors in the crowd with the park right up I-95, but other than that, they certainly shouldn't expect much competition.

Baltimore comes to town with a 2009 Nats-like record of 13-29 (the Nats were 12-28 a year ago today) and are cruising along as the worst team in baseball so far this season. The Orioles have had almost incomprehensibly low attendance numbers, some games not even breaking 10,000, for what is among the most beautiful parks in all of baseball. The Nats need to take at least 2 of these games, if not all 3, because they're going on a very difficult road trip to the left coast to face two NL West contenders and some really great pitching.

Look no further than yesterday's Capitol Baseball post, where I talked about my concerns with Nyjer Morgan. Jim Riggleman obviously agreed, because Morgan has the day off today with Bernadina getting CF responsibilities and Willie Harris in the lead off spot. O's RHP David Hernandez will start with his 5.84 ERA and 0-5 record. Gross indeed. In his 7 appearances, Hernandez has failed to go longer than 6 innings and he gives up lots of walks in those short outings, averaging more than 3 a game.

The Nats will have no excuse for not handling the O's in every aspect of the game with Scott Olsen's 3.15 and 2-1 record on the mound. They need to get the momentum back, and they need to do it soon if they want to still be in any sort of contention when Jesus comes up in just two weeks. They can't afford another extended losing streak, or they will quickly find themselves disappointed, once again, at the All-Star break. If they can keep it going, we might start hearing much more 2005 Nats team talk, which would be a welcome change of pace for many Nats fans.

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