Breaking down the Battle of the Beltway: Game 3


Sunday: Orioles 2 Nationals 1

This was the rubber match of the series and the best game of the series, in my opinion, because close, low-scoring pitching battles are my favorite kind of baseball games.

Tillman was on the mound and with him, it’s hard to tell what kind of game you’re going to get. Luckily, he’s been decent recently and he was in this game too. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the win and only went 5 innings due to a high pitch count of 97. But he only gave up one run on 6 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. It would have been even better if he got quicker outs and quicker innings so he can go longer, but a 6-hit 1-run outing is a pretty good start.

The bullpen was lights out, which is pretty uncharacteristic for them. Accardo went an inning with one hit. Jim Johnson went an inning, giving up one hit, and getting the win (he’s now 3-1, that’s more wins than Guthrie). Koji pitched a perfect inning and Gregg got hit 8th save in the 9th, walking one and striking out one.

This was clearly all about the pitching. As for the Washington side, Zimmerman pitched 6 1/3 inning giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. This is usually good enough for a win in any other game, but in such a close, low-scoring game, it wasn’t enough. The only runs he did give up came off of Vladdy’s 2 run homer, also scoring Mark Reynolds who reached the base on a walk.

I enjoy these games the most because every pitch counts and as you watch the Oriole on the mound wind-up, throw the pitch, and the ball getting to the guy at plate, it’s hard to not wince expecting the worst. Luckily for all of us O’s fans, the pitching was solid all 9 innings and the offense came through when the team needed it and with that, the O’s win the game 2-1 and the series 2-1 and look to take on Kansas City starting on Tuesday.