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May 22, 2012 [LINK / comment]
Battle of the Beltways 2012: Nats outscore the Orioles
In most years when interleague play gets underway, the matchups between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles don't garner very much attention outside the immediate region. This year, however, both teams are in hot contention for the lead in their respective divisions, and there is a real possibility that they will both make it to the postseason. Indeed, the weekend series played in D.C. just might be a preview of the World Series. Now wouldn't that be something!
Even though the Nats lost the first two games in that series, they played well and made it an enjoyable contest. The Orioles are certainly a worthy opponent this year. It was a real pitchers' duel on Friday, when Ian Desmond homered to tie the game 1-1. But Nick Markakis homered in the top of the elevent to win it, 2-1. On Saturday, Ross Detwiler gave up several runs in the early innings, but the Nats kept fighting and gradually climbed back from a 6-0 deficit. In the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run (his second of the year) to narrow the gap to 6-5, but the next batter was out and that was that. Still, a strong performance by the team, overcoming Detwiler's lapse. On Sunday, Stephen "Hot Stuff" Strasburg took the mound and unlike the previous fiasco, he kept his cool. He also hit his first career home run, running up the score. Nats 9, Orioles 3. So for the three-game series, the cumulative score was Nats 15, Orioles 11. Not bad against one of the best teams in baseball right now.
As of next year, there will be interleague games throughout the season, because the Houston Astros will move to the American League, so that both leagues will have the same number of teams (15). The downside of that is that there will be [a "leftover" team in each league, making interleague games a matter of routine necessity rather than a special feature. I hope this doesn't end up further diluting the distinctive identities of the two major leagues, which were organizationally separate until the 1970s, more or less.]
After watching the games in D.C. (on TV), I made some minor corrections to the Nationals Park diagrams, such as the precise configuration of the dugouts and the two-foot gap between the fence and the seats in left field. I also put back a suggested alternative configuration with the second deck enlarged and pushed forward. There is also a deep corner in center field, for the sake of extra-base excitement.
Nats back in first
Meanwhile, the Nats are showing improvement at the outset of their road trip, winning the first two games in Philadelphia. (More on that later.) As a result, they pulled ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East race once again. The Nats will be going for their first series sweep of the year tomorrow evening, broadcast on ESPN. Unfortunately, the Nats lost their previous two nationally-televised games: on May 6 (Phillies won, 9-3) and on May 19 (Orioles won, 6-5). They gotta get over that "stage fright" before October...
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 23 May 2012, 10: 52 AM
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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.)