BALTIMORE - We've only played four innings at Camden Yards, but what a crazy little game this is shaping up to be already.
We already talked about Roger Bernadina's first-inning bunt where the center fielder was called out after he stepped on home plate. Had he been safe at first base, he probably would have scored on Ian Desmond's ensuing double. Instead, Desmond doubled with the bases empty and the Nationals didn't score in the first. They got a break back in the second, when Mark Reynolds' double bounced over the center field fence, holding Luke Scott at third. The game stayed scoreless when J.J. Hardy flew out to right.
But things continued to go against the Nationals in the fourth - though part of the problem was that Nick Markakis made a great throw on Ivan Rodriguez's flyout to right, holding Jayson Werth at third. The Nationals scored on a fittingly fluky base hit, when Alex Cora ripped a pitch that deflected off pitcher Chris Tillman's foot and proved too tough for third baseman Mark Reynolds to handle. After that, though, Bernadina hit a fly ball that stayed in the park by about a foot, instead of going out for a grand slam.
In Bernadina's previous at-bat, he doubled off the top of the wall in right field; that ball could have been a homer instead of a double that left Cora stuck at third.
This game is a few inches away from the Nationals leading it 6-2. Instead, it's 1-0 Nationals in the top of the fifth. Jordan Zimmermann has continued to pitch well, only allowing one hit in the first four innings and pumping his fastball past Orioles hitters to collect three strikeouts so far. But the Nationals need to put some distance between themselves and the Orioles.
And speaking of weird bounces, I'm told we had a glitch in our commenting system that was preventing you from posting a little while ago, but it should be fixed now.