May 18, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
This year's Battle of the Beltways begins tonight at Nationals Park.
Yes, this weekend's series against the Orioles is significant for the Nationals. But it also represents the start of a very significant stretch of games that could go a long toward determining whether this franchise is going to keep itself at or near the top of the NL East all summer.
Beginning tonight, the Nats will play 30 of their next 33 games against teams that currently own winning records: the Orioles (twice), Phillies, Braves (twice), Marlins, Mets, Blue Jays, Yankees and Rays. The only team that's not over .500 during this stretch: the Red Sox, who are two games under and showing signs of life. Wow, good luck with that.
First things first, of course. Tonight, it'll be Edwin Jackson on the mound against Baltimore's Jake Arrieta. Plenty of updates and analysis to come throughout the game, so please check back often…
BALTIMORE ORIOLES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Mostly clear, 72 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from RF
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Phillies, 7:15 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Phillies, 1:35 p.m.
MON: All-Star break
TUE: All-Star Game at Minneapolis, 8 p.m.
WED: All-Star break
THU: All-Star break
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Ian Desmond out but expects to return Saturday
- The Baseball Show: Analyzing the Nationals' first half
- Podcast: 'Baseball in the District' - CSNbaltimore's Rich Dubroff
- X-rays negative on Desmond's hand after shortstop left game
- Nats, Orioles see promise in Beltway Series ahead of Aug. 4 rematch
- Instant Analysis: Orioles 4, Nats 3
- Do the Nationals have a pitching ace? (VIDEO)
- Who is the most underrated Nationals player? (VIDEO)
- Williams tries to keep Nats bench fresh; more on Harper, Rendon
- Nationals at the break: Who's been MVP, biggest surprise?