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June 9, 2016 [LINK / comment]
Nats' juggernaut stalls in Chicago
If it hadn't been for a momentary lapse by starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez in the first inning, and a couple freak plays later in the game, the Washington Nationals would have swept the Chicago White Sox tonight. The White Sox scored three run in the first inning, after Gio gave up two walks and two doubles. Then he settled down and kept his team in the ball game, getting ten strikeouts over seven innings. Daniel Murphy hit a solo homer in the fifth inning, and in the sixth inning the Nats had runners on second and third with no outs, but then Jose Lobaton was thrown out at home (base-running miscue), and then Jayson Werth grounded into a double play. In the top of the ninth, the Nats were threatening to tie it, with runners on first and third, but Daniel Murphy flew out to end the game. ChiSox 3, Nats 1.
In the first two games of the interleague series at U.S. Cellular Field, the Nats continued their recent offensive outburst, scoring 10 (again!) and then 11 runs. It was only the second time since their 2005 "rebirth" that the Nationals have racked up double-digit scores in three consecutive games, the first being June 26-28, 2012 against the Colorado Rockies. (They actually lost the June 28 game, 11-10 in 11 innings, and didn't even win the series because the Rockies had beaten them on June 25.) After checking my records, I determined that the Nationals' highest run total for three consecutive games was 34, on April 28-30, 2015. (It was WSH 13, ATL 12; WSH 13, ATL 4; and WSH 8, NYM 2.)
On Wednesday night, the Nats scored four runs in the top of the first, two of which came on a home run by Ryan Zimmerman. Later Stephen Drew, Danny Espinosa, and Jayson Werth homered as well. With a nice cushion, Max Scherzer had a fine day on the mound, going seven full innings without giving up a run. The White Sox scored their only four runs in the bottom of the ninth, three of which were the responsibility of relief pitcher Shawn Kelley, who had to be replaced after getting two outs. That was embarrassing. Final score: 11-4.
So, the Nationals concluded a successful road trip, winning six out of nine games. This weekend they face the Phillies, whom the Nats just swept last week, and then the too-good-to-be-true Chicago Cubs, who now have a 41-17 record, ten games ahead of the Pirates and the Cardinals. Talk about a juggernaut!
Tonight in Milwaukee, the New York Mets beat the Brewers, thereby climbing to 2.5 games behind the Nats in the NL East.
Baseball in Richmond
While visiting Our State's Capital (Richmond), yesterday, I stopped at the minor league baseball stadium known as The Diamond, and took some photos. It reminds me that the existing diagram and photos on The Diamond page are pretty lame, so I'll put that on my to-do list. The last time I visited there, September 30, 2004, it was still the home of the Richmond Braves, but they left after the 2009 season and moved to suburban Atlanta -- Gwinnett County, to be more exact. (Why? Because the Atlanta Braves demanded a new city-funded stadium to replace the one built in 1985.) The Diamond is now home of the Richmond "Flying Squirrels," the AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Seriously?
They keep talking about building a new baseball stadium in Richmond, probably near downtown, but there is great reluctance to spend precious public money. And with good reason! I think they can make do with The Diamond for the foreseeable future, adding luxury suites or whatever fan amenities may be necessary to generate more revenue.
Ground level view of The Diamond, home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 10 Jun 2016, 1: 56 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 10, 2016 ~ Cooperstown calls Griffey, Piazza
January 17, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland (& Bath!) County
January 21, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Glenn Frey
January 26, 2016 ~ Sweet Briar College is saved!
January 31, 2016 ~ Presidential campaign begins
February 6, 2016 ~ Fall bird migration season 2015
February 20, 2016 ~ Life bird: Virginia Rail!
February 21, 2016 ~ 2016 primaries: populists propel polarization
March 10, 2016 ~ Yes, another Wrigley Field update!
March 26, 2016 ~ Trump triumphs, Republican Party implodes
April 4, 2016 ~ Opening Day(s) in America, 2016! (& Sportsman's Park update)
April 18, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Alan L. Clem
April 21, 2016 ~ Flying out to So. Dak. (& back)
April 30, 2016 ~ Trump & Clinton take commanding leads
April 30, 2016 ~ Migration season reaches peak
May 7, 2016 ~ Trump secures victory; Sanders fights on
May 21, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Reddish Knob
June 7, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland County
June 9, 2016 ~ FOD [first-of-decade] Prothonotary Warblers!
June 14, 2016 ~ Birding on Hite Hollow Road
June 16, 2016 ~ Holy $#!+ -- Nationals win big showdown with Cubs
July 1, 2016 ~ Nationals sweep the Mets, widen NL East lead
July 3, 2016 ~ Kentucky Warblers, and more!
July 8, 2016 ~ Soras breeding in the Valley!
July 13, 2016 ~ Redistricting reform movement is growing
July 16, 2016 ~ The Nationals' starting rotation
August 5, 2016 ~ New page: Stadium profiles!
August 7, 2016 ~ Magical mushroom tour*
September 7, 2016 ~ To the northeast: Baseball road trip, 2016
September 18, 2016 ~ East by Northeast: Big city scenery travelogue
September 25, 2016 ~ Nationals win National League East Division
September 27, 2016 ~ Lucky! 13 warblers on Betsy Bell Hill
October 2, 2016 ~ Nationals' regular season ends on a high note
October 5, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park birding (II)
October 14, 2016 ~ Nationals flinch, Dodgers advance to NLCS
October 14, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park getaway
October 16, 2016 ~ World War II aircraft show (II)
October 25, 2016 ~ Holy cow: Cubs beat Dodgers, win NL pennant!
November 3, 2016 ~ The Cubs win the World Series!!!
November 4, 2016 ~ New month arrives, & new birds too
November 6, 2016 ~ Campaign 2016 grinds to a nasty, ugly end
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.)