May 31, 2013, 3:23 AM EDT
|Photo by USA Today|
BALTIMORE — After a night in which the Nats and Orioles combined for 16 runs, and with two pitchers who have been inconsistent this season on the mound, Thursday’s game at Camden Yards was supposed to be another home run derby. It was a hot and humid evening at a hitters' park, balls were supposed to fly.
But something about the heat may have actually helped Orioles pitcher Freddy Garcia. The 36-year-old found a groove that had escaped him all season and used a split-finger fastball to baffle the Nationals lineup throughout Baltimore’s 2-0 win.
“The split-finger he was throwing, basically like facing R.A. Dickey,” Ian Desmond said. “I think the humidity and the tackiness on the ball, his fingers, there's probably a little bit of sweat going on there, that pitch was pretty unbelievable tonight.”
“A knuckle or something, I don’t know,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “If a pitcher’s got a good pitch and he throws it as much as he did obviously you start to look for it and we still can’t hit it. It’s just one of those nights where he had a really good pitch and he used it as much as he could and it worked for him.”
NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
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.
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