Jul 12, 2015, 12:26 PM EDT
BALTIMORE — For some of us it may be hard to believe, but here we are on the final day of the first half of the 2015 season. Yes, technically this is Game 87 and the half-mark passed about a week ago, but baseball splits its season in two based on the All-Star break and this is the final Nats game until Friday when they host the Dodgers for three games.
Max Scherzer (9-7, 2.12) will try to send the Nats into the break on a high note in his 18th appearance of the season. He is coming off his shortest outing of the year when he lasted just 4 2/3 innings against the Reds. Scherzer will also try to overcome his last start at Camden Yards when he got shelled for five runs in a 12-3 blowout loss in Game 1 of the 2014 ALDS when he was with the Tigers.
Lefty Wei-Yin Chen (4-4, 2.82) will pitch for the Orioles in his 17th start of the season. He has allowed only six total runs in his last four outings, a stretch 29 innings.
Both Daniel Shiferaw and myself are in Baltimore for this one, so stay tuned for updates…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Where: Camden Yards
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: Ch. 9, MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869
Weather: Partly cloudy, 84 degrees, Wind 3 mph in from RF
CF Michael Tayor
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
LF Clint Robinson
DH Dan Uggla
1B Tyler Moore
SS Ian Desmond
(RHP Max Scherzer)
3B Manny Machado
DH Jimmy Paredes
CF Adam Jones
RF Chris Davis
C Matt Wieters
1B Chris Parmelee
SS J.J. Hardy
LF David Lough
2B Jonathan Schoop
(LHP Wei-Yin Chen)
HP Ed Hickox
1B Tim Welke (cc)
2B Mike Estabrook
3B Paul Nauert
1:36 p.m. — And we are underway…
1:55 p.m. — The Orioles are up 1-0 after the first inning thinks to a solo homer by Jones. Scherzer struck out the first two batters and got Jones to two strikes, but then Jones got a hold of one and put it about 10 rows deep into the left field bleachers. The Nats got two men in scoring position thanks to a single by Escobar and a double by Harper, but Ramos lined out to end the frame. Both starters used 18 pitches in the first inning.
2:06 p.m. — It’s still 1-0 Orioles after two. Both lineups went down 1-2-3 in the second inning, with Chen notching two strikeouts. Scherzer got Parmelee to strike out, so each pitcher has three Ks through two frames. Chen is at 29 pitches, Scherzer has 25.
2:18 p.m. — Not much to report on from the third inning, as both teams went down in order. It’s still 1-0 with Chen at 37 pitches and Scherzer at 38.
2:37 p.m. — The Nationals finally got something going on offense and now lead the Orioles 3-1 after four innings. It all started with a leadoff single by Escobar, who was joined on base two batters later by Ramos, who also singled. Uggla then singled to center field to score Escobar, and Moore followed that with a two-run double to right-center field. The Orioles were retired 1-2-3 by Scherzer, so on to the fifth we go. Chen will go back out there at 55 pitches, while Scherzer has 49.
2:52 p.m. — It is still 3-1 Nationals after five innings. The Nats couldn’t capitalize on an Escobar single. That marked his 26th multi-hit game of the season, by the way. The Orioles then went down in order. Chen is at 65 pitches, Scherzer has thrown 68.
3:05 p.m. — We’re heading to the seventh inning with the score still 3-1 Nats. Scherzer turned in another scoreless inning in what looks like another dominant outing. He’s allowed just three hits in six frames with five strikeouts and no walks.
3:18 p.m. — Runs are at a premium this afternoon, as both pitchers have buckled down. Scherzer is still cruising along at 87 pitches in seven innings of work. It’s 3-1 Nats going to the eighth inning.
3:33 p.m. — We’re through eight innings, and things continue to hold firm for the Nats. Scherzer is cruising, but at 100 pitches. The only question now is whether or not Matt Williams might consider putting him on the mound to start the bottom of the ninth inning.
3:57 p.m. — And that’ll do it. The Orioles made it interesting in the ninth with Adam Jones hitting his second home run of the game, but Storen came in to close things out and help give the Nats a 3-2 win. Washington will head into the All-Star break at 48-39.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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