August 24, 2012
A day after their big 13-inning victory against the Braves late on Monday night (or very early the next morning), the Nationals followed up with a win of a more routine nature. In Tuesday's game, Stephen Strasburg shut down Atlanta's offense, Ian Desmond homered for the second night in a row (a solo shot), and Jesus Flores added three more runs with a home run that just barely cleared the left field wall. Final score: Nats 4, Braves 1. On Wednesday night, the first four innings were scoreless, but then Ross Detwiler walked a batter and then gave up two earned runs. Both sides committed multiple errors, possibly because of the rain-soaked turf, and the one by Ryan Zimmerman led to two unearned runs in the ninth inning. Final score: Braves 5, Nats 1.
That series win meant that Washington increased its lead to six games over Atlanta in the NL East. After the Braves lost to the Giants last night, the lead is now six and a half games. The Nationals are playing in Philadelphia tonight, and will fly down to Miami on Tuesday for a two-game series.
While the Nationals were resting last night in preparation for their road trip, there were some tense and exciting games elsewhere in the majors. In Boston, the L.A. Angels edged the Red Sox 14-13 in 10 innings, after some amazing back-and-forth scoring. In Detroit, the recently-surging Tigers beat the Blue Jays 3-2 in 11 innings, and likewise, the Phillies beat the Reds 4-3 in 11 innings. In Arlington, the Texas Rangers beat the Twins 10-6, breaking a 4-4 tie with a six-run rally in the eighth inning. The Twins fought back with two runs in the top of the ninth, and got two more runners on base, to no avail.
Based on my recent visit there (August 7), I have made numerous enhancements and corrections to the Progressive Field (formerly known as "Jacobs Field") diagrams. Note that I have depicted the intricate arched roof structure, Also, the sharp bends in the lower-deck seating bowl are depicted with a gray line, since it is not otherwise obvious where those bends are located. I may do likewise in other diagrams in which such bends are especially prominent. I uploaded what I thought were finished diagrams yesterday, and then found several more discrepancies that I had to iron out. They should be pretty darned accurate now.
I noticed in my photos that the distance marker in center field has been changed from "405" to "400," but there has been no change in the position of the walls. Perhaps it was always 405 feet to the deep corner just left of dead center, rather than 410 feet. Further research is necessary.
It's a shame the Indians have resumed their downhill trajectory, losing eight straight games after showing brief signs of life during the second week of this month. How much longer can the too-patient manager Manny Acta keep his job there? He was fired from Washington three years ago in part because he seemed to relaxed in the face of repeated defeat.
Speaking of Cleveland, I happened to see an old movie The Fortune Cookie a couple days ago, and was surprised to see several scenes of of Cleveland Stadium, in its football configuration.