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Game 152: Orioles at Nats

Sep 24, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

This was supposed to be the Nationals’ final off-day of the season, but that was nixed after Monday’s series opener against the Orioles was rained out. So both clubs are back here at the park for a late-afternoon start, with Baltimore looking for a series sweep and Washington looking for a desperately needed win to at least delay the inevitable. (The Mets’ magic number to clinch the NL East, if you didn’t know, is down to 5.)

After the late fireworks in last night’s game, all eyes will be on Bryce Harper every time he steps to the plate today. Will the Orioles retaliate for Manny Machado getting plunked last night, taking out the Nats’ best player (as Harper speculated might happen)? If so, watch out.

Tanner Roark gets the start today against right-hander Tyler Wilson. Updates to come, so please check back…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM, 106.7 FM, 980 AM, 1500 AM, XM 187/869
Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 11 mph in from CF

2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
CF Michael Taylor
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Tanner Roark

ORIOLES (75-76)
CF Gerardo Parra
3B Manny Machado
1B Chris Davis
LF Steve Pearce
C Matt Wieters
2B Jonathan Schoop
RF Ryan Flaherty
SS J.J. Hardy
RHP Tyler Wilson

HP Ed Hickox
1B Alan Porter
2B Brian O’Nora (cc)
3B Mark Ripperger

4:05 p.m. — And we’re underway. Not a whole lot of people in the park as Tanner Roark throws his first pitch, this being a makeup game played at an odd hour.

4:27 p.m. — Stop me in you’ve heard this one before: The Nats are trailing after one inning. Yes, for the fifth time in seven games, the Nationals’ starter was scored upon in the first inning. But, hey, after giving up two runs in each of the previous four instances, this time Roark only gave up one run. Progress! There were no fireworks in the bottom of the inning, only Bryce Harper’s sixth walk of the series, leaving two on with one out for Jayson Werth … who promptly grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw. So it’s 1-0 Orioles after one.

4:42 p.m. — The Orioles continued to hit the ball hard off Roark in the top of the second, but they didn’t come away with anything. The Nats got a 2-out single up the middle from Michael Taylor, but that’s it’s in the bottom of the second. Still 1-0 Baltimore.

5:02 p.m. — Among the most amazing Harper stats of the year is the fact he has yet to go three consecutive games all season without recording at least one hit. Well, he’s in danger of doing just that right now. He’s now 0-for-4 with six walks in this series after having his bat shattered by Wilson on a grounder to second that ended the third inning. Still 1-0 Orioles.

5:20 p.m. — Pretty lifeless performance so far today from the Nats. The small crowd isn’t helping, but neither is the home team, which has been shut out through four innings by Wilson. Roark, meanwhile, served up a 2-run homer to Jonathan Schoop, a real poke over the center field fence. It’s 3-0 Baltimore after four.

5:41 p.m. — Wait, some signs of life from the Nats in the fifth. Ramos singles. Trea Turner doubled. Rendon sent a sac fly to the base of the wall in center. Escobar delivered an RBI single. All of a sudden, it was 3-2 with Harper at the plate in a big spot. Bryce wound up hitting into a 1-6-3 double play, so that killed the rally. But the Nats have drawn to within a run as Joe Ross enters to pitch the sixth in relief of Roark.

5:54 p.m. — A quick 1-2-3 sixth for Ross, who will be able to return for the seventh. But his teammates went down in order against Wilson, leaving them trailing 3-2 after six.

6:27 p.m. — Wow, what a rally by the Nats in the bottom of the seventh. Ramos got it started with a towering homer to left, the ball landing in the second-to-last row of the bleachers. That tied the game. Escobar’s double to right-center a few minutes later gave the Nats a 4-3 lead. It might’ve been 5-3, but Rendon was called out on a close play at the plate that the Nats challenged … unsuccessfully. They still had two on and two out later for Werth, who absolutely roped a ball down the third-base line, only to be robbed by Machado’s backhand stab. So after all that, the Nats hold a 4-3 lead, with Blake Treinen entering for the eighth.

6:55 p.m. — So much for that lead. Treinen held it for all of two batters. He gave up a leadoff single to Steve Pearce and then a towering, 445-foot homer to Matt Wieters, turning that 4-3 lead into a 5-4 deficit. Then after threatening in the bottom of the inning thanks to Robinson’s leadoff double, the Nats squandered another opportunity. Ian Desmond’s sac bunt attempt barely went anywhere, setting up an easy out at third base. Wilson Ramos and Tyler Moore then struck out with the tying runner on second, ending that rally. It’s 5-4 Orioles heading to the ninth.

7:10 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats lose 5-4. They’re swept by the Orioles. They trail the Mets by 7 games with 10 to go. They’ve also now officially been eliminated from the NL wild card race.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 24, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    “This was supposed to be the Nationals’ final off-day of the season…”

    As best I could tell, they took one on Tuesday and another yesterday.

    • alexva6 - Sep 24, 2015 at 12:52 PM


      2015 will be remembered as a season of “off days”

      as for today’s game, I wouldn’t give two cents for the Nats chances. how’s that for reverse lock strategy?

    • Section 222 - Sep 24, 2015 at 12:59 PM

      Hahaha. Three off days in a row. They should be well rested for this afternoon’s game.

  2. ArVAFan - Sep 24, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    I wish the umpires would issue warnings before the game starts: they’ve done that before when there had been “turbulence” the day before. I’d rather see a fairly played ball game than a benches clearing brawl (hmmm, doesn’t hockey start up about now?).

    I’m going to half-disagree with Eugene. I was at both games. They were flat on Tuesday, but I definitely don’t think they were phoning it in yesterday. When you see them stealing bases and sliding into home plate, chasing fouls almost into the stands, that’s not “off” as I saw it.

    Maybe today Werth can try aiming the ball at the grass instead of the fielders. And maybe Harp can try hitting the ball in the stands instead of the grass (hint, hint).

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 24, 2015 at 1:33 PM

      Fair enough re Wednesday (which I only got to see part of), but — from afar, on a tiny little iPad screen — Tuesday’s game seemed like one of those first-day-home-from-a-roadtrip recovery games. Couldn’t quite figure that out given the rain-out the day before.

      • ArVAFan - Sep 24, 2015 at 2:07 PM

        Hey, I was sitting close enough to them to yell at Gio in person–and I couldn’t figure it out, either. Maybe it was from the long rain delay the day before (they did have batting practice and got all geared up for the game, and then it was hours of waiting before they called it). So it wasn’t really a “work day” nor a “day off.” But that should have affected both teams equally.

        And yeah, I don’t think much of their chances today, either–but I’m going because (1) I have a ticket, (2) I don’t have anything better to do, (3) the weather is fine, (4) the season will be over soon, and (5) you never know what will happen–that’s why they play the games.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 24, 2015 at 2:15 PM

        +5 on reasons for going.

        I’m not going today, but will be there Friday through Monday.

      • nats106 - Sep 24, 2015 at 2:16 PM

        Nothing better to do? He;; I’d rather watch re-runs of Gilligan’s Island than go see these two teams play.

        Won’t keep me from going tomorrow and Saturday though. I’ll have to pause the DVR.

      • NatsLady - Sep 24, 2015 at 3:49 PM

        I was there Tuesday and they definitely were flat.

      • Section 222 - Sep 24, 2015 at 4:39 PM

        All great reasons to go. I’d be there too, but unfortunately, there’s that one reason for not going — I have to earn a living so I can pay for all those games I go to during non-work hours.

  3. Guapo - Sep 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    Start Treinen, Plunk Machado. Get tossed, have Roark ready.

    • nats106 - Sep 24, 2015 at 2:15 PM

      Start Roark, Plunk Machado. Get tossed, have Treinen ready. 🙂

      • ArVAFan - Sep 24, 2015 at 2:25 PM

        Ha. First clue that someone’s going to get plunked is that the bullpen is busy in the first inning!

      • ArVAFan - Sep 24, 2015 at 2:26 PM

        Second clue: Bryce suddenly is wearing his old catchers gear–while batting!

  4. langleyclub - Sep 24, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    Don’t think the Orioles will intentionally hit a Nat early in the game.

    Whether a Nat gets plunked will depend on score and situation. If the game gets out of hand, particularly if the Nats are winning, Harper is probably getting hit, but I really don’t see Showalter doing that early in the game when it could cost his team a starting pitcher and would likely lead to a reprisal. The Orioles have a stronger playoff chance than the Nats (both are remote); so, their first priority will be to win the game. Revenge is a secondary motivation for now.

    • Guapo - Sep 24, 2015 at 4:12 PM


      And that’s exactly why Pap getting tossed was ridiculous.

      One run game in the 9th is not a time a team send a message. He worked Machado inside and hit him. Part of the game. But Machado’s feelings got hurt and chaos erupted. At least that bush leaguer didn’t throw his bat this time.

  5. Guapo - Sep 24, 2015 at 4:54 PM

    Werth is killing this team, anywhere but the leadoff spot. He was thriving there. Why to MW move him? It’s not like the Nats steal or hit and run….ever. If Werth was being productive there, leave him there.

    • NatsNut - Sep 24, 2015 at 5:24 PM

      Agreed. Werth needs to go back up to leadoff as soon as possible.

  6. philipd763 - Sep 24, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Buck Showalter is no dummy, he has quickly figured out that the best strategy in dealing with the Nats is to give Harper nothing to hit because the rest of the lineup can’t do much damage.

  7. NatsLady - Sep 24, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    Kid can hit.

  8. Joe Seamhead - Sep 24, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    Great play by Matt Weiters to tag Rendon out. Gee, a one hop throw from the outfield gets a guy out at the plate.

  9. Joe Seamhead - Sep 24, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    First Wieters makes a great play on the tag at the plate, then hits a go ahead homer. Sigh…

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 24, 2015 at 6:41 PM

      The only thing off-script was that the go-ahead homer was hit in the 8th, not the 7th.

    • trfwans - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:53 PM

      If you believe Phil Wood et al, Wieters could be playing here next year, along with Gerardo Parra and Darren O’Day. I for one would not complain at all if that pans out.

      • sec112 - Sep 24, 2015 at 10:03 PM

        I’m not sure how Parra or Wieters are improvements over what we have.

  10. alexva6 - Sep 24, 2015 at 6:50 PM

    Ian Desmond: doing the little things to help the Nats lose

    • NatsLady - Sep 24, 2015 at 6:55 PM

      Good bye and good luck. Been fun having him around, except THIS year!

  11. corkybb - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:01 PM

    I adore Nationals Manager Matt Williams. No matter how many times bunting destroys his team, he always has the courage of his convictions that the NEXT time, the result will be different. Now that’s leadership!!

    • NatsLady - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:13 PM

      Maybe he should teach them how to bunt before calling for it. Especially Rendon and Desi, who are hitters, not bunters!

      • sec112 - Sep 24, 2015 at 10:05 PM

        Desi actually has 6 sac bunts and I think three bunts for hits this year. He just didn’t execute.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    Rendon getting tagged out at the plate a couple of innings ago looms large now.





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 Click here for past audio clips.

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