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May 4, 2012 [LINK / comment]
Harper's big bat ends Nats' skid
Bryce Harper is quickly erasing any doubts that he belongs in the major leagues, now. Even though he went a disappointing 0 for 3 in his debut [home] appearance against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Nationals Park on Tuesday night, in the next two games he provided the offensive firepower that the Nats have so desperately needed. In Wednesday night's game he went 3 for 4, including two doubles -- one of which led off the ninth inning. The next two batters struck out, when up to the plate stepped the Nats' shortstop, Ian Desmond. Down one run, with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth inning: the perfect situation for a clutch performance. Sure enough, Desmond rose to the occasion by swatting a home run just over the left-center fence, giving the Nats and their fans a much-deserved walk-off victory.
Last night was almost as much fun, as Harper once again delivered a clutch RBI double, scoring Ian Desmond who had also just doubled. Final score, Nats 2, D-Backs 1. See MLB.com. It was nice that they won the series, bouncing back from that five-game losing streak.
UPDATE: Stephen Strasburg gave up his first two home runs of the year tonight, and left the game after six innings with his team behind the Phillies by two runs. The Nats came back to tie it 3-3, however, as the game went into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, the Nats loaded the bases with two outs, and pinch hitter Wilson Ramos singled home the winning run. Yet another thrilling walk-off victory! Weirdly, neither Bryce Harper nor Jayson Werth had any hits in six plate appearances each, though Harper did walk three times. Tonight's attendance: 34,377 -- the third highest of the year, but it's not certain how many were "friendlies."
The Nationals' great April
Other than the lack of consistent batting, the Nationals have played magnificently in the early 2012 season. As shown on the newly-updated Washington Nationals [page], they amassed a record of 14-8 in April even though they lost their last four games of the month. It's the first time since June 2005 that they finished a month in first place in the National League Eastern Division.
Where are the Nats fans?
In today's Washington Post, Barry Svrluga notes the meager attendance at Nationals home games so far this year, in spite of the team's great success. Well, that's bound to change before long. Tonight the Nats welcome arch-rival Phillies to town, and we'll see if the PR campaign to get more Nats fans to show up and offset those noisy visitors from Philadelphia works out as planned.
Green cathedral for Osteen
Last Saturday, Nationals Park was filled to capacity by devotees of televangelist Joel Osteen, a noted exponent of the "Gospel of Prosperity." See Washington Post. It was the second major religious event there, after the visit of Pope Benedict in April 2008, when Nationals Park was brand new.
Deadly storm in St. Louis
Not long after the FOX Game of the Week between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers last Saturday, a thunderstorm cast aside a huge party tent near Busch Stadium. a St. Louis Cardinals game. Seventeen people were injured enough to be taken to hospitals and one person died. I remember watching that game, which was one of the few games in the Midwest that day that weren't rained out. See ESPN.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 04 May 2012, 11: 44 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
January 3, 2012 ~ Campaign 2012: All eyes are on Iowa
January 9, 2012 ~ Superdome (name and diagram) update
March 24, 2012 ~ Spring (or is it Summer ?) Training 2012!
April 1, 2012 ~ Goodlatte faces challenges from the left and the right
April 17, 2012 ~ Nationals start 2012 season on a winning note
June 11, 2012 ~ Bird breeding season is here!
June 24, 2012 ~ Strasburg wins his sixth in a row
June 19, 2012 ~ University of Virginia's president forced to resign
June 28, 2012 ~ Supreme Court upholds Obamacare (But why?)
July 17, 2012 ~ R.I.P. Cliff Fretwell (1938-2012)
August 14, 2012 ~ Baseball road trip 2012: Chicago & Cleveland
September 1, 2012 ~ Vacation 2012: travelogue and photos galore!
September 10, 2012 ~ Nats come stormin' back, get a BIG win
September 14, 2012 ~ Paul Ryan visits the Shenandoah Valley
September 19, 2012 ~ It's fall bird migration season!
September 20, 2011 ~ Humala is inaugurated president of Peru
September 25, 2012 ~ Nationals get back at Brewers, twice
October 12, 2012 ~ Romney wins the debate, cheers the Valley
October 13, 2012 ~ Deja vu: The Cardinals do it again
October 30, 2012 ~ Deja vu: Giants are World Champions, again
November 7, 2012 ~ Decision 2012: Obama wins by a clear margin
November 12, 2012 ~ U.S. Congress to remain divided (and stalemated?)
November 25, 2012 ~ Stadium comparison page updates
December 22, 2012 ~ End of the world? Not yet!
December 24, 2012 ~ Sunshine state mass update
December 24, 2012 ~ New Anglican archbishop named
December 31, 2012 ~ Are you ready for some (postseason) football?
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.)