With wins in 5 of 6 games against the Orioles last season, and 7 of 10 overall in the regional rivalry, the Washington Nationals are now 31-39 in their all-time series with Baltimore as the two teams start a two-game set in Oriole Park at Camden Yards tonight.
The two teams are in drastically different places heading into the renewal of the Battle of the Beltways, with the Nationals winners of 30 of 42 since May 24th, 7.5 games out in the NL East and atop the Wild Card race in the National League, while the Orioles are 28-65 in 2019, having lost 26 of their last 36 to leave them 31.5 games back in the AL East heading in to this week’s matchup.
Coming off a series win in Citizens Bank Park, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said in his post game interview on Sunday that they had to keep things rolling as they take on the O’s.
“We were down, we battled back,” Martinez said of the Nats’ effort in a loss in the finale with the Phillies.
“Come here and win two out of three, day off, go back, go to Baltimore and try to win that first game.”
“It was just unfortunate the game ended that way,” he said of the walk-off loss to their NL East rivals, “... but I love the way we’re playing, and like I said, have a day off, come back strong against Baltimore.”
The Nationals are turning Austin Voth again in the first game with the Orioles tonight, in his fourth start of the season. He’s gone just 4 1⁄3 in his previous two outings, and he’s put up a 5.52 ERA, and a .259/.328/.448 line against in 14 2⁄3 IP overall in the majors this season, but Martinez said he’s liked what he’s seen from the right-hander so far in 2019.
“I like what Austin’s done when he’s up here,” Martinez said, as quoted by MLB.com’s Paul Casella on Sunday.
“And his last outing down there, he pitched really, really well. I like the fact that he goes out there, and he has presence. He has poise.
“He’s throwing the ball well, so we’re going to give him an opportunity to start.”
How will Voth fare against a struggling Orioles’ squad? Will the Nationals pick things back up after a disappointing, but hard-fought loss in the finale with the Phillies?