Nationals get swept, AGAIN
After a very encouraging first half of August, the Washington Nationals reverted to their record-setting losing ways. In St. Louis, they came close in two games, but ended up losing all three of them to the Cardinals. The loss on Friday night, when the Nats wasted a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning, was especially hard to take.
In San Diego on Monday night, newly-acquired Livan Hernandez pitched a complete game, giving up only three runs, but it was all for nought; the Padres won, 3-1. As a result of that loss, the Nats' record in August fell to 14-15, their 11th consecutive losing month. All they had to do was win one of their last four games to finish the month with a winning record, but no-o-o. (SOUND OF TEETH GNASHING.) See MLB.com. The Nats scored only one more run in that series, and this afternoon the Padres turned on the offensive firepower, making the Nats' ace John Lannan look like a chump. The Padres sure didn't look like a last-place team to me.
Just for the record, as of yesterday, the Nationals and Orioles became the first teams to be mathematically eliminated from post-season contention. So much for baseball in the Washington-Baltimore region! With only 28 games to go this season, the Nats (currently 46-88, or .343) are going to need a miracle to avoid losing at least 100 games for the second year in a row. Specifically, they have to win 17 of those games, all but three of which are against NL East rivals. (The Dodgers come to town on September 22.) The prognosis is not very good. Maybe the Nationals should move back into RFK Stadium, where they had much better success!
Nats trade Belliard to Dodgers
Wouldn't you know ... I pay a compliment to a struggling player who finally went on a hot streak last month, and now he's been traded all of a sudden. Ronnie Belliard will be playing for the post-season bound L.A. Dodgers, in return for which the Nationals get "a Minor League right-hander Luis Garcia and a player to be named." They'd better be good. See MLB.com. Good luck in October, Ronnie -- unless you're playing against the Yankees, that is!
Yankee Stadium(s) photos
John Crozier and Brian Vangor both sent me more photos of new Yankee Stadium, the best of which have been duly posted on that page, and Brian sent me a photo of old Yankee Stadium draped in a black shroud, appropriate for a funeral service. (It's intended to keep the dust from scattering around as demolition work proceeds.) While I was posting those photos to the Yankee Stadium and Yankee Stadium II pages, I redid some of the older photos as well.
COMING SOON: Even more new ballpark photos, from John Minor, James Sutton, and Yours Truly...
NOTE: I got another warning about excessive bandwidth usage for the month of August, which may be related to the increased number of large, high-quality stadium photos I have been posting lately. If you are a regular user of this site and have not previously contributed a few of your hard-earned bucks, provided research assistance, or submitted photos of your own, please consider donating a few dollars or sponsoring a stadium page. I do appreciate all such expressions of support.