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Loyalty of Washington Nationals fans tested

Will the rise of the Orioles take Maryland fans away from Nats Park? And a look at Brady House, other down-on-the-farm items, and the Major League draft …

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game One Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, the Nationals had played 310 games through Tuesday and lost 189 of them.

The Baltimore Orioles, during that same span, also had an identical mark of 121-189 since Daniel Hudson recorded a strikeout to end the 2019 Fall Classic.

The Orioles, however, lost 108 games in 2019 and fell 110 times last year.

And the teams with the longest active winning streaks going into play Wednesday?

That would be the Orioles, who won their ninth straight against the Cubs on Tuesday, and Seattle, which won its ninth in a row here at humid Nationals Park 6-4 in the first game Wednesday.

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The rapid rise of the Orioles has captured the attention of fans from around the country.

But will the team about 38 miles north of the nation’s capital take fans away from Washington, especially those in Maryland?

“I doubt it - maybe a few in the northern part of the area,” said Washington season-ticket holder Scott Sitzer, sitting in row J of section 315 during the Wednesday night game against Seattle.

Sitzer, who has had season tickets for six years, agreed when the Nationals traded a slew of veterans a year ago. Now he waits.

“It will take two or three years,” he said of the rebuild.

The Orioles got a jumpstart over the Nationals when it comes to a rebuild.

Washington started trading away its veterans in late July of last year while Baltimore was already several years into its teardown.

The Nationals, at 30-59 after a loss in Game 1 of 2 on Wednesday, had one of the worst records in the majors through Tuesday, while the Orioles were 44-44 after a 4-2 win in Chicago on Tuesday.

Would some Nats fans, impatient with a long rebuild, head to Baltimore to see the surging Orioles?

It is certainly happening in the NFL with the franchises in Baltimore and Washington.

It would be more surprising if it happened with Major League Baseball.

As for Seattle, Virginia native Cal Raleigh started at catcher in game one and hit a homer.

Norfolk native Justin Upton started at DH for the Mariners in game two.

House Still On Shelf:

Infielder Brady House, the top pick of the Nationals last year out of a Georgia high school, still has not played in a game since June 11.

Mark Twain Prize Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

He went on the 7-Day Injured List with Single-A Fredericksburg on June 23.

House is hitting .276 with an OPS of .731 in 176 at-bats this season, with three homers and 31 RBI.

MLB Draft:

The Major League draft begins this weekend and one publication has the Nationals taking a catcher in the first round.

Baseball America projected that Washington would take backstop Kevin Parada out of Georgia Tech.

“It sounds like the Nationals were sending in heavy hitters to see Parada, who is solidly in the elite tier of hitting prospects,” wrote Baseball America.

“Parada seems like the more likely option currently, even after the Nationals traded for young catcher Keibert Ruiz last July.”

Clippard Rolling:

Tyler Clippard, the former Washington reliever from 2008-14, got his first save of the year for Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday. He fanned three batters while allowing a hit and a walk in the ninth inning as the Red Wings beat Omaha 5-2. He was then called up to the Nationals after the first game Wednesday as reliever Tanner Rainey went on the 60-Day Injured List.