Jason Golden Fleeces Nats Out of Win: Hammel and the Or-gonauts Take Opener

This kid thinks he’s so clever, wearing gear from both teams to try and get as many autographs as possible. Well, no one’s going to reward such flagrant pandering–I think he’s overstretching himself. Also, his clothing. Cause he’s fat. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Final Score: Orioles 2, Nationals 1

Dame of the Game:

Jordan Zimmermann: 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, BB, K. We jest about Zimmermann not getting any run support because people don’t like him. But this sample size is only getting larger and less dismissable by the game. Does he make loud and disgusting noises when he eats? Does he give terrible birthday presents? It’s still a mystery.

Shame of the Game: 

Ryan Zimmerman: 0-4, K. Both Zimmerman(n)s are represented in today’s game dame/shames. This would be more exciting for The Zimmerman(n) Telegram except for the fact that we probably wouldn’t have named a blog after Ryan if we knew he was going to be so bad. Ryan’s whole season at the plate has been a bit on the shameful side. I can only assume he’s been distracted by his other, more foreign ministerial duties.

——

The Battle of the Beltway resumed on Friday. A classic piece of military wisdom is that sometimes the best way to win a battle is to not fight it at all. The Nats may have been well-served to heed this advice, as they lost the opening skirmish of the Battle’s second round. Although, if they hadn’t fought the battle they probably would’ve just forfeited, which would have produced the same result in the standings. They may actually have been better served by just not striking out ten times against Jason Hammel. I guess baseball and war are not always analogous.

Now I finally understand why Sun Tzu’s brief foray into baseball analysis failed. And why Harold Reynolds’ brief foray into being a general resulted in his entire army immediately dying and him cowering behind a bush for several weeks.

The Nats kept the Battle close, at least, due to Zimmermann’s quality pitching and a lone run scored by Ian Desmond. Desmond’s aggressive baserunning on a groundball to third forced the Orioles into making an error, allowing him to score. The Nats also used similarly foolhardy maneuvers on the bases against to good effect in their last series against the Rays. Clearly, Bryce Harper’s “run until they tag me” (as the great sage F.P. Santangelo describes it) strategy of baserunning is rubbing off on the rest of the Nats. I can only hope that Harper’s “smash bats against the wall until they bounce back and hit me in the face” strategy is less contagious.

The Nationals need to take the next two games against the Orioles to salvage a tie in the 2012 Beltway Battle. In the event of a tie, the winner would be settled by Davey Johnson and Buck Showalter playing a game of Chicken on the Beltway Highway. I have no doubt that Davey would win. He does not fear death.

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