Nationals lose their 100th game
The Washington Nationals are quickly running out of goals to keep them motivated during the last week of this abysmal season. On Tuesday the L.A. Dodgers trounced them, 14-2, embarrassing the Nats' usually-reliable starting pitcher, Livan Hernandez. There was one consolation in that game, at least: Adam Dunn hit his 38th home run, raising hopes he can reach 40. Wednesday's game started off almost as badly, but ended much better. Chad Billingsley had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer (#31) to tie the game. Thanks to a walk-off "sacrifice fly" by pinch-hitter Pete Orr in the bottom of the ninth (the ball was dropped by right fielder Andre Ethier), the Nats pulled off a tense 5-4 victory. That desperately-needed win lifted the team's lowly spirits, but they couldn't quite manage to win last night. J.D. Martin gave up four runs in the first inning, but the Nats slowly came back to tie the game 6-6. In the inning, however, the diminuitive but dangerous Rafael Furcal hit a home run that was the deciding factor in the Nationals' 100th defeat this year. Well, against a first-place team like the Dodgers, at least one win and a close loss is a respectable outcome.
Tonight, John Lannan went seven superb innings and 122 pitches without a single earned run, but even that wasn't enough to get a win over the Atlanta Braves, who took advantage of errors to score twice in the first inning. That was all they needed, as the Nats went down again, 4-1. The Braves are only 3 1/2 games behind the Rockies in the NL Wild Card race.
I was hoping to persuade my wonderful wife Jacqueline (a Braves fan) to go see one of the Braves games in Washington this weekend, but I don't think it's going to happen...
Should Guzman be traded?
Probably so, but it might be hard to get much of value in exchange for him. The Nationals are in dire need of a shortstop with more range than Cristian Guzman, who is good with the bat but not much else. He has suffered from a sore shoulder lately, further constricting his defensive abilities. See MLB.com. The young rookie Ian Desmond might fill that role, but probably not on a full-time basis for at least another year. He started off this month red hot, but he has only had three hits in his last 27 at-bats, and his batting average has fallen to .289.
I have added three photos of Rogers Centre, courtesy of Tim Moysey. That leaves Chase Field in Phoenix as the only current MLB stadium for which I don't yet have photos, so if any fans from Arizona would like to share theirs, please contact me.
Tiger Stadium R.I.P.
The final structural beam from old Tiger Stadium was torn down at 9:24 A.M. on September 21, marking the sad end of the tragedy that has been unfolding in Detroit. One of the onlookers said the old ballpark officially died at moment, and you can watch and listen to a video that was posted by the Detroit Free Press; hat tip to Mike Zuawski. So where do stadiums go after they die???