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September 16, 2011 [LINK / comment]
Nationals sweep the Mets !
And a four-game sweep at that! Thanks in large part to shortstop Ian Desmond, who went five for six last night, the Washington Nationals trounced the New York Mets 10-1 in Flushing Meadows, New York, yesterday afternoon, thereby completing their sweep the Mets. In the three preceding games at Citi Field, the Nats won by only one or two runs. It was only their fourth sweep of the year, having beaten the Brewers, Cardinals, and Mariners in three straight games each, during the first half of the season.
As a result, the Nationals now have sole possession of third place in the National League East, the most competitive division in all of baseball. Not bad! The last time they were in third place this late in the season was August 18, 2005. They maintained a higher winning percentage throughout that season, however, finishing at an even 81-81.
The last time the Nats reached a double-digit run total in a game was exactly three months ago, when they beat the Cardinals 10-0. It was their fifth straight victory, their longest winning streak since the eight game streak in mid-June. The Nats have been notably less successful on the road this season (currently 30-44), making their achievement all the more remarkable.
I plan to join the festivities this evening, when the Nationals return home and face the Florida (soon to be Miami) Marlins. John Lannan will be the Nats' starting pitcher. Stay tuned!
Pennant races start to heat up
At the beginning of September, it seemed that the final month of the baseball season would be less exciting than in most years, but now things are getting interesting. With less than two weeks to go, only one of the divisional races is highly competitive right now, the AL West. The Phillies, Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Tigers enjoy leads of at least five games, with rapidly shrinking magic numbers. The Yankees have built a 4 1/2-game lead over the Red Sox, while the suddenly red-hot Rays threaten to grab the wild card slot. Angels have slowly crept up on the Rangers, but will need some good luck to close the 3 1/2-game gap. The Atlanta Braves are all but assured of the NL wild card spot. I know the Brewers have been very hot lately, and anything can happen in the postseason series, but it's hard to imagine anyone but the Phillies ending up with the National League pennant.
Save the ash trees!
While reading the Cardinals team magazine which I bought in St. Louis last month, I noticed an ad publicizing Missouri's emerald ash borer control program. Why is that important for baseball fans? Because ash is the preferred wood for baseball bats, which are prone to shattering when substandard material is used. See missouri.edu.
Louisville Slugger museum
Next time I pass through Louisville, I'm going to make a point to stop at the Slugger museum. There's a giant bat outside the factory, which you can see in this photo.
Negro Leagues Museum
Next time I pass through Kansas City, I'm going to make a point to stop at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 16 Sep 2011, 12: 08 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
March 9, 2011 ~ Life bird: (un-) Common Redpoll
March 31, 2011 ~ Batter UP!!! Opening Day 2011 is here!
April 3, 2011 ~
Legislators seek redistricting input (?)
April 18, 2011 ~
Tea Party Tax Day rally
May 1, 2011 ~ Confirmed: Osama bin Laden is dead!
May 25, 2011 ~ Governor visits Staunton
May 30, 2011 ~ Nationals WIN, then resume plunge
June 2, 2011 ~ Republicans declare candidacies
June 14, 2011 ~ Anti-tax dogma vs. fiscal sanity
June 23, 2011 ~ Nationals sweep Mariners; Riggleman quits
June 26, 2011 ~ Two extraordinary extra-inning games
July 8, 2011 ~ Nationals sweep the Cubs (almost)
July 26, 2011 ~ Debt ceiling showdown: farce majeur
August 1, 2011 ~ Leaders compromise on debt ceiling
August 20, 2011 ~ Baseball road trip 2011: Missouri
August 31, 2011 ~ Is Obama getting desperate?
September 11, 2011 ~ 9/11: Ten years later
October 1, 2011 ~ THREE "shots heard around the world"
October 3, 2011 ~ Hundreds of hawks, dozens of warblers, and three bears!!
October 10, 2011 ~ Kansas performs in concert at JMU
October 10, 2011 ~ R.I.P. Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011)
October 29, 2011 ~ The Cardinals are world champions again
November 5, 2011 ~ Washington Nationals: year in review
November 9, 2011 ~ Republicans gain, State Senate is tied (?)
November 28, 2011 ~ Newt gets real (?) on immigration
December 3, 2011 ~ Moneyball, the A's, and Billy Beane
December 14, 2011 ~ Libertarians don't get no respect *
December 31, 2011 ~ Those wintertime no-baseball blues
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)