Today’s live blog: The Orioles and Nationals meet today in the third and deciding game of this series. The Orioles are 40-31, and the Nats are 41-28.
Will today be the day the Orioles get some offense going? They are just 13-for-60 (.217) in this series, and they are batting just .174 with 15 runs over their last eight games.
The Orioles have scored two runs or less in six of those games and, over the past six games, they are just 1-for-27 when batting with runners in scoring position.
Feel free to leave comments in this blog during today’s game. Comment or ask about anything from the lineup to the rotation to the minors.
Updating Arrieta: Jake Arrieta was replaced by Troy Patton after giving up just one run on five hits in six innings, but he is losing 1-0. Over his last three starts, Arrieta has given up just six earned runs in 20 innings for an ERA of 2.70.
About the fans: Today’s attendance is 41,794. That makes this the most fans to watch a three-game home series this year, as 133,983 have come through the turnstiles here at Camden Yards since Friday. The Orioles-Phillies’ weekend drew 132,337.
The six games between the O’s and Nats this year have attracted 254,912 fans to Camden Yards and Nats Park.
Deep, but not deep enough: It got more frustrating for the Orioles when Adam Jones flied out to deep left to end the fifth with runners on second and third. The Nats still cling to their 1-0 lead as the O’s RISP stats drop to 1-for-31. The Orioles have three hits but have left five runners on base in their last two at-bats.
More RISP frustration: The Orioles left the bases loaded in the fourth, in what was their best chance to score so far in this game. Mark Reynolds struck out with two on and one out, and Ronny Paulino flied out with the sacks full and two down.
The Orioles are now 0-for-2 today with runners in scoring position and have just one hit their last 29 at-bats with RISP.
In their last home series, against Pittsburgh, the Orioles scored 27 runs with 44 hits and 19 extra-base hits. Through four at-bats today, they have three runs on 16 hits with four extra-base hits this weekend.
Nats strike first: The Nationals have been waiting for Ryan Zimmerman’s bat to get going, and his RBI single gave them a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. It ended an 11-game stretch without a RBI for Zimmerman, who began the day with just two hits over his last 28 at-bats.
Jake Arrieta has needed 61 pitches to get through the first three frames, while Ross Detwiler held the O’s off the board on just one hit and 39 pitches over three innings. It’s Washington leading 1-0 in the fourth.
Interesting bullpen note: Although the Orioles’ bullpen has been used for the third-most innings in the American League (232), no member of that ‘pen ranks in the top 20 of the AL in appearances or top 12 in relief innings. Buck Showalter has gotten kudos this year for how he has used the bullpen. I talked with pitching coach Rick Adair about that today and will publish his comments on that topic in the next day or two. The bullpen has pitched well this year and piled up a lot of innings, but no one has been overused, and Buck and Adair should get some of the credit for that.
Not Miller time yet: Jai Miller played in his second game with Double-A Bowie last night and struck out in all three at bats. He is now 0-for-7 with the Baysox with seven strikeouts. Miller struck out 93 times in 174 at-bats to begin the season in Triple-A Norfolk. Last year he led the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts with 179, and he has now struck out 1,254 times in 3,457 career minor league at-bats. It has to be disappointing to him that, at a time when the Orioles have had some changes in their outfield in Baltimore, he went the wrong way down to Bowie and not up to Baltimore.
Meanwhile, the Orioles sent right-handed reliever Clay Schrader to Bowie, and this is his first chance at the Double-A level. He was 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA at Single-A Frederick, with 51 strikeouts over 35 innings. He also walked 27 in that time, which has always been somewhat of an issue for him. Seems he has always had a lot of strikeouts and walks.