Sunday afternoon will see the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles going head-to-head in the Rubber Match of the three-game series that constitutes the first Battle of the Beltway in 2011. The Nationals have won one game of the series off their offense and they have lost a game in part to their lack of offense. The Nats look to balance it out and leave Baltimore with a series victory.
Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (2-4, 4.13 ERA) will be pitching on some extra rest. His last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates was rained out and the very next day the Nats shuffled their rotation. Zimmermann hasn't pitched since May 12th against the Atlanta Braves, but remains unconcerned and appreciates the extra time off. Nationals.com:
"I feel fine with whatever decision they make," Zimmermann said. "It's probably better to get skipped now than toward the end of the season. If we are in the race or right where we need to be to make a push at the end of the season, that's the time I really don't want to be shut down. I want to be able to pitch, still have innings left and help the team out."
Zimmermann and the Nationals offense will face Baltimore's Chris Tillman (2-3, 5.35 ERA). For the first time this season both Nationals catchers will be in the line-up. Ivan Rodriguez will be behind the plate while his young apprentice Wilson Ramos will be replacing the struggling Matt Stairs at DH.
Baltimore currently leads the Battle of the Beltway series 17-15 since baseball returned to Washington. Sunday's first pitch will be at 1:35 P.M.
Roger Bernadina - CF
Ian Desmond - SS
Laynce Nix - LF
Jayson Werth - RF
Wilson Ramos - DH
Michael Morse - 1B
Danny Espinosa - 2B
Ivan Rodriguez - C
Alex Cora - 3B
Jordan Zimmermann - P