It was a highly successful weekend for the Orioles as they took two of three games from the Washington Nationals. They may not have had much offense over the past three games; however, when hitters have needed to come through in the ‘clutch’ – they have delivered.
On Sunday, the Orioles powered themselves to victory as Matt Wieters’ homer in the eighth inning pushed over Washington, 2-1.
The Orioles are 41-31 and trail the Yankees by 2.5 games in the American League East.
Ross Detwiler for Washington – who started on the mound – owned the Orioles for much of the game; however, reliever Sean Burnett got tagged by Wieters and took the loss. Burnett took the loss; meanwhile, Pedro Strip got the win in relief for the Orioles, and Jim Johnson got the save – his 22nd of the year.
The Nationals may not have done much scoring over the weekend, but their starting pitching is first-rate and it is little shock how they have managed to build a comfortable lead in their division.
Barring injury, the Nationals will be extremely dangerous down the stretch. They just need their hitters to start producing.
As for the Orioles, the pitching has been shaky outside of Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen; however, Jake Arrieta – who has had times of trouble during the season so far – stepped up enormous for the Orioles. He allowed just one run in six innings.
Despite Arrieta leaving the game with Baltimore trailing 1-0, the bullpen did not allow a run in three frames and helped setup Wieters’ crucial moment.
Overall, the weekend for the Orioles was notable both on the field, and in the stands. Frankly, if both the Nationals and Orioles ever made the World Series and played one another, the buzz in the region would be incredible.
I went to Camden Yards on Friday, and Saturday for the games and the park was full on both dates – as well as on Sunday (which I did not attend). It was refreshing to see Nationals and Orioles fans co-existing in the ballpark, but yet seeing both fanbases root on their teams.
Much like when both teams played in May down in Washington, it was quite an atmosphere seeing it all live. For a change, it was impressive to see two franchise who have been beaten down over the past several years – much longer for the Orioles, obviously – compete head to head as contenders.