September 26, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Spoiling all the fun

The Yankees, Mets, and Cubs are each within a hair's breadth of clinching a postseason berth, but thanks to upset victories last night by the Devil Rays, Nationals, and Marlins, their fate still hangs in the balance.

For the second night in a row, the Nats racked up a double-digit run total, 13-4 and 10-9. It was the first time the have managed to do that in almost exactly two years. (They got 11 runs against the Marlins on September 27 and 28, 2005.) What could explain that burst of home runs by the Nationals at Shea Stadium over the past two nights, in spite of the fact that there is nothing further to be gained at this point from winning games? I guess some people can perform better when the pressure is off. In last night's game, the Nats had a seven-run lead going in to the bottom of the night, and the Mets got six runs off Jesus Colome and Chad Cordero, after which Jon Rauch came in to save the game -- just barely! Blowing such a big lead would have been an utter disgrace for the Nationals, but just imagine the frustration felt by the Mets' fans...

The mail bag

I've had a few queries from fans in the past few days that require checking my ballpark sources. Once again, my various commitments have intruded upon the time available to update my baseball pages and respond to queries from the public in a timely fashion. Thanks for your understanding.