Washington Nationals Win Seventh-Straight, 8-4 Over Baltimore Orioles.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 17: Ian Desmond #6 of the Washington Nationals slides into home plate ahead of the tag of Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth inning at Nationals Park on June 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• Today's Top 5: 

5. An Hour Later: Rain delayed the start of Interleague play in D.C. by an hour. The O's and Nats got started at 8:00 pm EDT. At 8:02 pm, O's outfielder Nick Markakis lined a belt-high first-pitch fastball outside into left for a one-out single off Nats' righty Jason Marquis. Adam Jones singled in the next at bat when a sharp grounder to short took a bad hop that bounced off Ian Desmond and into the outfield. Nats' right-hander Jason Marquis got a long fly to right from O's catcher Matt Wieters, and a sharp grounder to second by Luke Scott and was out of a quicker-than-it-seemed, 10-pitch first...Ian Desmond works an eight-pitch one-out walk out of Orioles' lefty Zach Britton in the Nats' first, but a Ryan Zimmerman line drive to center and a Michael Morse groundout to short later, Britton's through his own scoreless first on 16 pitches, eight strikes...

4. No Play At The Plate: Jason Marquis gives up back-to-back singles to Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds in the second, but the Nats' extreme ground ball pitcher retires the next two O's in order, getting a double play grounder out of Robert Andino and a groundout to second from the O's starter Zach Britton. Marquis gives up a two-out double over third to Adam Jones, but Matt Wieters' groundout in the next at bat is the third of the third inning. Derrek Lee doubles with one down in the fourth, but when Marquis strikes Reynolds out it looks like he might avoid trouble yet again. Light-hitting O's infielder Robert Andino singles to left, and D. Lee rounds third as the O's run on Jerry Hairston's arm. There's going to be a play at the pla-- no play. Wilson Ramos fails to come up with the throw home from Hairston. D. Lee scores, and the O's pitcher, Zach Britton, collects his first major league hit, a single and his first RBI, scoring Andino from second on a weak line drive to left that gets by Hairston. 2-0 O's. 55 pitches total for Marquis after an 18-pitch fourth. 

3. MOAR GROUNDERZ: Ian Desmond walked with one down in the first, and Jerry Hairston doubled in the second, but that's all Orioles' lefty Zach Britton's has allowed through four scoreless. The Nats go down in order in the third and fourth, and when the top of the fifth starts with back-to-back singles by Nick Markakis and Adam Jones it looks like Baltimore's '06 3rd Round pick is going to get more support. Marquis gets a 4-6-3 DP on a grounder from Matt Wieters, however, and a groundout to first by Luke Scott ends the fifth inning threat with the score still 2-0 O's. 

2. Streaking Desi: Wilson Ramos is the third National to reach base when he singles off the Orioles' lefty in the fifth. The Nats' catcher goes first-to-third™ on a single to center by Jerry Hairston. Jason Marquis bunts toward third, and the Nationals get their first run of the night when Mark Reynolds sails the throw to first. A groundout to second by Roger Bernadina drives Hairston in for the tying run, 2-2, and a two-out single through short by Ian Desmond drives the go-ahead run in and continues Ian Desmond's 11-game hit streak. 3-2 Nats, and make that 4-2 when Ryan Zimmerman's single to center scores Ian Desmond ahead of Adam Jones' throw in to Wieters. O's Skipper Buck Showalter doesn't want his lefty pitching to Morse, so he walks him and gets a groundout from Danny Espinosa. 4-2 Nats after five. 

1. Marquis Hit Wikid Hahd: Jason Marquis gives up another leadoff single, and it's by Derrek Lee again. One out later, with Mark Reynolds on first after he grounds into a force, Robert Andino's double puts runners on second and third with one down. Jason Marquis is done. Todd Coffey vs Vladimir Guerrero. For the heavyweight title. Coffey misses with a slider, Vladi fouls off a fastball, and then singles to center on another bender from the Nats' reliever. Reynolds scores. Andino scores on J.J. Hardy's sac fly and it's tied. 4-4. Marquis' line once the top of the sixth is finally over: 5.1 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K's, 81 pitches, 52 strikes, 10/1 GO/FO. Todd Coffey gives up back-to-back two-out singles leaving the bases loaded for Sean Burnett, who gets a groundout from Matt Wieters with one pitch. 

0. Sean Burnett =Athlete: Wilson Ramos walks on five pitches to start the Nats' sixth and he's running...and he scores from first on a Jerry Hairston double to left field. 5-4 Nationals. O's right-hander Jeremy Accardo walks Sean Burnett, who gets his first at bat since 2009 and takes his first walk since his rookie campaign in 2004. Hairston's still at second, Burnett still at first one out later, when Jayson Werth singles to left off O's right-hander Jason Berken. Hairston scores, Burnett goes first-to-third™, 6-4 Nationals, who once again have the lead. Burnett scores from third on a RBI sac fly by Ian Desmond, 7-4 Nationals when the sixth finally ends. 

-1. Lightning Striking Again: Sean Burnett gives up a one-out single to Derrek Lee, who's 4 for 4 after the hit. Henry "Lightning" Rodriguez is called out the bullpen and he blows Mark Reynolds away on four pitchers and gets a first-pitch swinging Robert Andino to ground out to end the seventh. 5 pitches, 4 strikes. Tyler Clippard needs 22 pitches, 20 of them strikes to get through the top of the eighth, and Roger Bernadina's second HR in two nights gives the Nats a four-run lead in the bottom of the inning. First time in his career Bernadina's hit HR's in back-to-back games. Ryan Mattheus retires the first two batters he faces before D. Lee's fifth hit of the night delays things for a moment. A fly ball to center from Mark Reynolds ends it. Nats win 8-4. The Nationals win their seventh straight and at least momentarily move into a tie for third in the NL East. 

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

Num Name - Comments
1 dc Roach - 237
2 MissB - 86
3 Whupass - 82
4 cat daddy3000 - 69
5 CptChaosSidekick - 30
6 Dan Shields - 29
7 Joey Fox - 18
8 Doncosmic - 18
9 jeff550 - 17
10 Brotato - 15

 

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 70: 3rd place?":

20110617_orioles_nationals_0_20110617224153_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com

  • Both been better: Jason Marquis (-14.1%) and Todd Coffey (-19.9%) combine to give up an astonishing 15 hits in 5.2 IP, although it only costs 4 runs. Mind you, Marquis (+13.1% hitting) had a run-scoring bunt-ROE for the Nats' first tally (+16.5%).
  • Steadying up: Sean Burnett (+10.3% pitching, +1.9% hitting) comes on to finish the 6th and get two outs in the 7th, drawing a walk and scoring a run in between.
  • H3r0? It's true: Jerry Hairston (+33.7%) was 3-3 with a walk and a go-ahead RBI double in the 6th (+18.1%).
  • We're not calling these comebacks: Ian Desmond (+18.2%) is 2-3 with a walk, 2 SB, and a go-ahead RBI single in the 5th (+13.8%).

What do these graphs mean?

Nationals now 34-36. 

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