The Baltimore Orioles open up a six-game road swing through the National League East with three games in Washington D.C., starting tonight. It’s the return of the Battle of the Beltways, this time D.C.-style. Whereas Washington fans enjoyed their helping of crab cakes and National Boh last month, this week Orioles fans will get to sample half smokes and DC Brau!
The Birds will take on a Washington team that’s struggling a bit of late, or at least much more so than they were the last time the teams saw one another. Their bats have seemingly gone to sleep. Sound familiar? It probably shouldn’t as they haven’t gone to sleep as much as the Orioles’ have. Although the O’s are of course coming off of a nice win on Sunday against Miami in which the bats were ever-present.
However that aside, Washington’s strength has always been pitching. Starting pitching to be specific. But one thing that perhaps could favor the Orioles a bit is the fact that this evening’s Washington starter, Jefry Rodriguez, is coming up from the minors to make the start – his first in the big leagues (despite a relief appearance). Now Washington’s minor league system is fairly stacked, so it may not be the advantage it sounds like. But it’s better than facing any one of their other starters.
This has had to happen because Washington had a bizarre day yesterday in which they completed a suspended game with New York (which they won), and then played a previously rain-out game against the same New York Yankees (which they lost) – in what resembled a doubleheader but really wasn’t. Technically the stats for the completed game count towards May 15th when the game started. That means the win counts for that day as well, meaning that Washington brings a four-game losing streak into this game tonight.
I think baseball is one of the only sports that could produce statistical oddities such as suspended games. Washington’s Juan Soto made his big league debut five days after that May 15th date. However he played in the resumed game yesterday, with those stats counting torwards May 15th. So is May 15th now his big league debut?! In fact, he gave Washington the lead with a moon shot of a two-run homer. So…does that count as his first big league hit, which in turn was a home run?!
Over the years there have been odder things than that which have occurred. There have been suspended games that were resumed a month or two later in which players on both sides have been traded for one another. So you have games where the same player has appeared on both sides of the box score. All of this aside, Washington will be having to make a couple of roster moves before tonight’s game, including sending their 26th man back down. The Orioles of course will call Caleb Joseph back up before the game as well.
So the series at Nationals Park in D.C. opens this evening. David Hess gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by the aforementioned Jefry Rodriguez of Washington. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.