April 11, 2009
Both the Cubs and the Nationals lost in close games decided at the very end last night. In Milwaukee, the Cubs allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth, losing to the Brewers, 4-3. Manager Lou Pinella is not happy with his closer, Kevin Gregg; see MLB.com.
Meanwhile, the Nationals were in Atlanta for the Braves' home opener, with a full house. They had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning, but only scored one run. The Braves then punished the Nats for wasting that precious opportunity, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning. After a two-hour rain delay in the fourth inning, the Nats came back to tie the game twice, a welcome sign of fighting spirit, but the Braves finally sealed the win on an RBI single by Kelly Johnson in the tenth inning. The Nats left 16 men on base!
To my surprise, the Nationals have been hitting pretty well this first week of the season, with five of their starting lineup above the .300 mark. The team batting average right now is .276, in the middle of the MLB pack, just behind the Yankees and Angels.
FOX Sports will broadcast their first Saturday Game of the Week later this afternoon. Time to crack open a cold one and savor the good life...
Mike Zurawski recently reminded me that the Texas Rangers have added two rows of luxury box seats at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, so I took care of that, making a few other slight corrections. I had mentioned the new box seats on Nov. 29. The Rangers have also added new LED auxiliary scoreboards, and a "Commissioner's Box" premium seating section beyond the third base dugout. Former President Bush threw the ceremonial Opening Day first pitch in Arlington on Monday; see MLB.com.
Statues of former Washington baseball stars Josh Gibson, Walter Johnson, and Frank Howard have been installed in the centerfield plaza of Nationals Park, but the reviews aren't so good. See Can't Stop the Bleeding.