Look for the same broadcast team this weekend

Am I the only one who thinks a Battle of the Beltways logo would look pretty cool? I don't have an artistic bone in my body, so I'm certainly not the one to design it, but I'm picturing the two highways tangled together, steel entrenched with gridlock traffic popping out all over.

Hey, it's just an idea, but for anyone who has to travel along either the Baltimore Beltway or Capital Beltway on a regular basis, you know there's enough congestion and construction to make any decent driver ready for battle.

Fittingly, the Nationals and Orioles resume their annual Battle of the Beltways series this weekend, when the struggling Orioles travel down 295 to our nation's capital, where the Nationals seem to have found their swagger.

This past week has been easily the best for the Nationals this season. During their five-game winning streak, the starting pitching - which has been solid all season - continues to shine, while the offense, which was a major concern this time last month, appears to be coming around. In their last five games, the Nationals have out-scored their opponents 24-8.

It's a good thing the offense is finding its niche, as they'll have to put up a pretty impressive display if they're going to repeat the 17-run explosion against the Orioles earlier this year. The 17 runs were the most runs in a single game since the franchise moved to Washington, but the hype was short-lived as the Orioles took the remaining two games and the series in Baltimore.

For those of you watching on MASN, it'll be the usual setup in the booth. Nats fans, you'll recognize play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter, who will team up with the Orioles' Jim Hunter. Carpenter will anchor the first two-and-a-half innings, followed by Hunter through the seventh inning, who will hand it back over to Carpenter to finish the games.

Alongside Carpenter and Hunter will be the familiar color analysts for both teams. Former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan and Nationals commentator F.P. Santangelo will provide insight for their specific teams throughout the series.

"Since MASN broadcasts both the Nationals and Orioles, it was a natural to devise a hybrid booth utilizing the best talent from both announcing teams for interleague meetings between the two clubs," said Chris Glass, MASN's vice president for operations and productions. "No one knows their teams better than Bob Carpenter and Jim Hunter, and having them switch off play-by-play duties during the game gives our audience the unique opportunity to get a different perspective from each announcer. Having a former major league hitter in F.P. Santangelo and a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher in Mike Flanagan means our fans will be treated to the kind of insider knowledge that only ex-players can deliver."

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