June 18, 2011: Washington Nationals vs Baltimore Orioles

High fives after a win
#071 – Nationals vs. Orioles
Starting Pitchers: Jordan Zimmermann (#27, 5-6, 3.08) vs. Brian Matusz (#17, 1-2, 5.60)
Final Score: Nationals: 4, Orioles: 2
Nats New Record: 35-36

Pep talk at the mound
I’m a nervous person.  I worry a lot, and I over think nearly everything.  All the good things that happen to me are inspected thoroughly to be sure that they are real.  Which is why the Nationals recent winning streak has been difficult for me.  I’m trying not to get too excited about what’s happening with Washington’s boys of Summer.  Sure – they’ve won a few games.  In a row.  More than they have in years.  They’re also approaching a .500 record – something they have never done when they’ve been 9 games under before.  They are currently tied for 3rd place in the National League.  People are actually using the words “wild” and “card” in the same sentence as the Nationals.

Henry Rodriguez warms up
And I’ve worried – because it all seemed too good to be true.  And it kind of is – at some point, the team will break their streak.  At some point, they will mathematically eliminate themselves from contention for post-season play.  At some point, the players who are “hot” right now will cool down.  The team will no longer own the longest current winning streak in baseball, and the longest this year in the National League.  At some point, one or more of the players we love will be traded to another team – maybe even a team that we don’t like.

Screech flys the Nats Win flag
But not today.  Today our Nationals played like they meant it.  Zimmerman and Morse both went 2-4 with home runs.  Jordan Zimmermann pitched for 6.1 solid innings, followed by a performance by Henry Rodriguez that both astounded (with 101 mph fastballs) and shocked (dropping his speed by 18 mph for the strikeout).  It was not a perfect game by any means.  Espinosa being caught out in a squeeze play that didn’t need happen.  Zimmerman having some weak throws.

"Clueless" "Orioles Fan"
But overall, this is the team that I’ve loved since the beginning and hoped they would become.  They are making great improvements as a team, and I just know that the rest of the summer is going to be a fun time to watch this baseball team come into its own.

(Note: This post was originally written late on Saturday night, before the team ended their streak at 8.  As my dad said in a Father’s Day conversation this afternoon, “I’ll take 1 loss for 8 wins in a row.”)

(full album from this game can be seen here)


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One Response to “June 18, 2011: Washington Nationals vs Baltimore Orioles”

  1. Robbo Says:

    For some reason, I hadn’t realized it would be an afternoon game. So when I turned on MASN Saturday evening, I had a hard time for a while trying to figure out why it was so bright at the ballpark while dusk at home. When I realized it was an encore broadcast, I stopped myself from checking the final on line in large part because I had an irrational fear that such eagerness to see if the Streak had held up would provoke the Baseball Gods to reverse history out of spite. Glad I didn’t check. And I will take an 8-1 streak in any order any time!

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