It’s hard to argue that any team got a better deal last offseason than the Nationals did with Edwin Jackson. There’s no such thing as a bad one-year deal, but his deal looks to be spectacular. He was perfect into the fifth inning, before faltering in the 7th, but no need to fear as the bullpen closed the game out in style, tying up the series with a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Nats offense didn’t have the breakout they’ve been looking for, but it was enough to get the job done. Adam LaRoche, who’s struggled mightily against the Orioles, connected for his 13th home run of the season and scored two runs. The Nats got on the board first with singles from Michael Morse and LaRoche. Xavier Nady followed with what was scored a single and an error, scoring both runners. LaRoche rounded out the scoring with a solo shot leading off the 4th inning. Bryce Harper picked up his 6th stolen base of the year.
The lone run for the Orioles came in Jackson’s final inning on a screaming line drive homer from Adam Jones that clanged off the left field foul pole. Wilson Betemit and Mark Reynolds chased Jackson with back-to-back singles before Michael Gonzalez shut down the inning. Sean Burnett pitched around a single in the 8th, and Tyler Clippard picked up his 12th save of the year. Jackson improved to 4-4 with the win, and Bruce Chen took the loss, dropping to 7-3.
Champ of the Game: Edwin Jackson. He was literally unhittable into the 5th inning, and he only got into real trouble in the 5th and the 7th. His performance was reminiscent of his first home game of the year, a CG against the Reds, but he hit the wall in the 7th and had to be pulled. Here’s hoping it wasn’t anything more than a bit of fatigue.
Chump of the Game: Ryan Zimmerman. His approach at the plate is just terrible as pitchers pound him with off-speed stuff on the outside half of the plate which he harmlessly rolls over. I mentioned on Twitter that you couldn’t construct a more effective groundball to the left side machine, and he has yet to disprove that.
Next Game: Sunday June 24 the Nationals close out the season series with the Orioles looking for a split. Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.34) has regained the fifth starter spot, and he faces off against Jake Arrieta (3-9, 5.83) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.