Marlins thrash Nationals
Tonight John Halama started, but he didn't even last a full inning. Frank Robinson must have been very impatient, as he changed pitchers almost every inning, but it didn't stop the flood of runs scored by the Marlins, who won 12-1. Dontrell Willis thus became the second pitcher this year to win 20 games, and he hit a single and double to boot, raising his batting average to .256, absurdly high for a pitcher. There were only two bright spots for the Nats in the game: a home run by Rick Short, the veteran minor league player who finished the season at New Orleans (!) with just under a .400 batting average. Also, Ryan Zimmerman played his first full game in the majors, playing at shortstop instead of third base. He got his second double of his brief career. This second straight loss puts the Nationals 3 1/2 games behind in the wild card race. Tomorrow the Nationals' best ace, John Patterson, starts against Josh Beckett. Yikes. Who the heck is Darrell Rasner? He was the Nationals' starting pitcher on Tuesday night, and he quickly gave up three runs to the Marlins, which was all they needed to win the game. Brad Wilkerson hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the (third) inning, a great sign of competitiveness, but there were hardly any hits after that, much less runs.
Is it just me, or have the Yankees been 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox every day since the end of June? The schedule seems to favor the Yanks as the season's end draws near, but some of those games are against the Devil Rays, who have made an amazing resurgence since the All Star break, sweeping the Indians, Angels, and White Sox.
Fan Value Index
sportsillustrated.cnn.com analyzes which ballparks offer the best value to fans. It includes an odd assortment of criteria, only some of which coincide with my own. It refers to RFK Stadium as "a testament to classic '70s stadium architecture" -- huh? Try '60s. (hat tip to Brian Hughes)
Thanks to Gavin Dow, there are two new photos of that big tent in downtown Minneapolis, known as the Metrodome.