Nationals shutout Orioles in Beltway Series opener

The Baltimore Orioles are loaded with young, affordable talent. Shortstop Gunnar Henderson and catcher Adley Rutschman are already considered two of the best and brightest at their respective positions. Ace Corbin Burnes is one of, if not the best, pitcher in the American League. Simply put, this is a loaded franchise with an incredible foundation and championship aspirations.

And then there’s the Washington Nationals, who have been an afterthought in their own town since before the pandemic. With little investment from ownership, the on-field product has been largely unwatchable. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Juan Soto, Trea Turner are long gone, and now locals are stuck waiting for the likes of MacKenzie Gore, Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz and CJ Abrams to (hopefully) usher in the next generation of franchise cornerstones.

It’s admittedly a low bar, but the Nationals over .500 for the first time since 2021. Simply having more wins than losses, courtesy of an 18-17 record, is a noteworthy milestone for a rebuilding franchise that hasn’t been remotely competitive since gutting their 2019 World Series winning roster.

Starter Trevor Williams was brilliant against the Orioles — allowing just two hits and striking out eight over five scoreless innings — and is now 4-0 with an impressive 1.96 earned run average this season. Washington still struggles to score runs consistently, but when they get such high-quality outings from starters like Williams, the Nationals are able to overcome the problem.

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