Tonight’s game was looking great heading into the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman had one or probably two shots to make history with four home runs, and Jordan Zimmermann was handling a potent Orioles lineup well. But the Nats went in order in the top of the frame, and the Orioles came alive in a big way in the bottom half. Six hits, including two homers, turned a 6-3 lead into a 9-6 deficit. It was an unmitigated disaster for the Nats, as their odds of winning dropped from 86.9% to 7.3% in the bottom half of the frame. From there, the Nats went quietly: after they scored six runs through 4.2 innings, the last 13 Nats were retired in order. It was a disappointing missed opportunity, and the Orioles will have the momentum heading into tomorrow’s finale of the home-and-home series.
Most Important Nationals Hit: Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run home run (+13.9%)
Zimmerman came to the plate with Denard Span on second and home runs in each of his first two at-bats. His third homer of the game propelled the Nats to a 6-2 lead and put him in the history books. Zimmerman is now the third National with three home runs in a game, joining Alfonso Soriano in 2006 and Adam Dunn in 2010. He finished 3-4 with four RBI.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Manny Machado‘s game-tying double (+25.3%)
The Orioles trailed 6-3 coming into the sixth, but the deficit was cut to 6-5 by the time Machado came up, thanks to a Steve Pearce two-run home run. With a runner on first, Machado sent a double to left that tied the game and put him in position to score the tiebreaking run. Nick Markakis would deliver him home with a single in the next at-bat, which was the Orioles’ fifth straight hit to open the inning.
Champ of the Game: Obviously, Zimmerman (+33.9%) took this with his three bombs, but the team’s offensive sputtering late in the game prevented him from batting a fifth time. The Orioles’ Chris Davis (+30.6%) had a similarly great game: 4-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R. His 19 home runs leads the league by four.
Chump of the Game: Despite his 1.71 ERA coming in, Jordan Zimmermann (-53.1%) got beaten up by the O’s, allowing seven runs on ten hits in 6+ innings. The Orioles’ starter, Chris Tillman (-38.2%) suffered similarly, allowing six runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings.