September 16, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Tale of teams from two cities

Last night, both teams from the Washington-Baltimore region fell behind 5-0 in the early innings, but all similarities between the two games ended there. In Philadelphia, Washington Nationals pitcher Garrett Mock gave up five runs to the host Phillies in the first two innings. In Baltimore, meanwhile, Orioles starting pitcher Jason Berken gave up five runs to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in the first three innings. Things looked bleak for both the last-place teams. After that, however, the games turned in totally different directions. To his credit, the Nats' Mock settled down and pitched four scoreless innings, but he didn't get any run support, and his team went down to defeat, 5-0. Ryan Zimmerman remains in a perplexing slump.

In contrast, the Orioles started getting hits and scored runs in almost every subsequent inning. The hero of the game in Baltimore was rookie catcher Matt Wieters. He drove in five runs, including a 3-run homer in the eighth inning to cap off the Orioles' superb 10-5 comeback victory. Now why can't the Nationals play like that more often?

The mail bag

Patrick Sammon wants everybody to take a look at the official trailer from the Sony Pictures movie Sugar at It's about a young pitcher nicknamed "Sugar" from the Caribbean who gets invited to spring training with a major league team. After his arrival in the U.S.A., however, he experiences all sorts of "culture shock." It's right up my alley in terms of baseball and Latin American interests, and it just came out in DVD and Blu-Ray. Also see

Busch Stadium III Second, I have added [four] new photos to the Busch Stadium III page, courtesy of James Sutton, who also provided some tips with regard to the (rather complicated) profile. Based on his helpful input, I have updated [that diagram, ever so slightly, adding a third profile, which pertains to the grandstand beyond the infield but inside the left- and right-field corners].

Finally, Jeremy Carpenter informed me that the gridiron on the Oakland Coliseum early football diagram was a little off (about 18-20 feet too far toward center field), so I fixed that as well.

Still more mailbag items to get to...