Saturday’s Nationals-Orioles discussion space

BALTIMORE | Welcome to MASN’s discussion space for today’s Nationals-Orioles game at Camden Yards. We’re going to do a bit of a hybrid discussion again today; for the first half of the game, I’ll post periodic updates and analysis here, and you can discuss the game in the comments section. In the second half, I’ll launch a live chat in a window within this blog.

4:13 p.m.: The Nationals are down in the first inning, having managed only a walk from Ryan Zimmerman. The Orioles got Adam Dunn to ground out into a deep shift, playing second baseman Julio Logo almost like a short fielder in softball. The Nationals’ and Orioles’ throwback uniforms look outstanding - high black and orange socks for the home team, gray and red Senators jerseys for the visitors - and with the afternoon start, you can almost convince yourself you’re watching a day game during the 1970s.

4:25 p.m.: Livan Hernandez gets out of a self-made jam in the first inning, allowing two hits only to retire the Orioles’ 3-4-5 hitters. We’re scoreless after one inning.

4:35 p.m.: Just one hit for the Nationals in the top of the second, on a dribbler from Josh Willingham. Also: Screw Ghana.

5:01 p.m.: Big third inning for the Nationals, breaking out with four runs against Orioles starter Brad Bergesen. Adam Dunn’s two-run double to right was the big blow, and Roger Bernadina drove in a run later in the inning. For Dunn, who was just grousing this afternoon how he doesn’t hit well here, six RBI in a game and a half isn’t bad.

5:07 p.m.: Hernandez gets through the bottom of the third in order. Then, Ian Desmond singles to start the fourth, steals second, moves to third on a sacrifice and scores a sac fly that included just an awful throw from Nick Markakis. It’s 5-0 Nationals after 3 1/2. Odds are, the Orioles won’t be able to come back from a big deficit two days in a row, unless the Nats hand it to them again like they did last night.

5:20 p.m.: Well, the Nationals’ lead has shrunk by one, on Adam Jones’ homer to left off Livan Hernandez in the fourth. Josh Willingham might have had a chance to catch it at the left-field wall, but he tripped as he was about to leap for it. It’s 5-1 Nationals, and the Orioles have pulled Bergesen for Mark Hendrickson as we start the fifth.

5:25 p.m.: We’re going to get started with the live chat. I’ll post the window below, and probably keep posting a few in-game updates here, for those who aren’t fans of the live chat. But for those of you who want to participate, you know the drill by now, I think: Leave comments there, or tag tweets with #masnnats. Our Gamezone space is also up and running; you can access that here. Or, just click into it below:

6:44 p.m.: We’re still chatting below - and obviously, this game has changed plenty with the Orioles coming back to take the lead on Drew Storen’s wild pitch. The Nationals have one chance left to avoid losing the series, and it’ll come in the ninth inning with Ian Desmond, Nyjer Morgan and Cristian Guzman. If they lose this one, you’ve got to pin most of it on Hernandez, who got hit around in the fifth inning, though Sean Burnett and Storen should catch a little heat for the way they pitched, too.