Rob Long: Battle Of The Beltway
It’s not even July and the “Battle Of The Beltway” will feature two teams with nearly 80 wins between them. This use to be a match up featuring two of the worse teams in their respective divisions. The Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals have become contenders, which makes this series one of the feature series in the final week of inter league play.
Friday night’s match-up has two pitchers with sub-three earned run averages. Jordan Zimmerman only has a 3-5 record, but his 2.92 era and his WHIP are very impressive. He’s been the forgotten man in a very talented rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. Just two years ago, Zimmerman was the up and coming guy. He hasn’t disappointed, the others have been lights out.
Meanwhile, Jason Hammel has been a major bright spot for the Orioles. With a 7-2 record, he and Wei-Yin Chen have done more than you could expect.
This series is very important for both teams and that’s a good thing. Once upon a time, a late June series between the Nats and O’s was just a waste of time.