June 9, 2012
For the very first time, the Washington Nationals have won a game in the daunting, hostile territory of Fenway Park. They beat the Boston Red Sox on Friday evening, and they did so as decisively as when the Red Sox defeated them by large margins on June 19, 20, and 21 of 2006. The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but the Nats came back with three runs in the top of the third, capped by Ian Desmond's clutch two-run double. In the fourth inning Bryce Harper hit his sixth home run, which fell into the seats on the right side of the deep 420-foot corner. (Wow!) Stephen Strasburg threw 13 strikeouts in six innings, but his pitch count had already soared to 119, and there's no way Davey Johnson was going to let him break his personal best of 14 strikeouts. (That was in his debut game almost exactly two years ago.) The Red Sox scored one run each in the final two innings, but fell short, losing 7-4. See the Washington Post.
Kudos to right fielder Xavier Nady for making an amazing catch in front of the bullpen to rob Adrian Gonzalez of a home run in the bottom of the third inning. That prevented the Red Sox from tying the game, making it easier for the Nats to pile on more runs in the next inning.
Today, the Nationals did it again, with a mostly-solid performance by starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez who won his eighth game of the season. He was helped by a second-inning solo homer by Adam LaRoche, who has been in a slump lately. Final score: 4-2. Tomorrow the Nats go for the series sweep, hoping to stay at least one game ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. At 34-23, they have the second-best record in all of baseball; only the L.A. Dodgers are better right now.
While I was checking my compass orientations on the new adjacent-stadium thumbnail diagrams (on the Stadium proximity page), I realized that the street grid in which Citizens Bank Park is situated is not aligned with true north, etc. In fact, center field points about ten degrees east of due north, but the compass symbols in my diagrams only have points in 22.5-degree intervals (360 divided by 16). Well, that's no longer close enough for my purposes, so I have started putting black (north) points in between the 16 gray points for greater accuracy. That had a significant effect on the way the Veterans Stadium - Citizens Bank Park thumbnail image looks.
And of course, while I was at it, I made a number of minor corrections to the Citizens Bank Park diagrams themselves, such as moving the scoreboard back about 15 feet, making room for the party deck located there, and including such details as the decorative plant barrier in front of the left field seats. There are some new photos on that page, sent to me last year by Corey Sharp, and I enhanced the quality of two of the photos that had been posted there previously.
Finally, I'm almost done with the revisions to Veterans Stadium.