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MAGIC NUMBER: 11
September 12, 2012 [LINK / comment]
Nationals sweep the Mets
John Lannan took the mound in place of the shut-down Stephen Strasburg tonight, and he did just fine, as the Washington Nationals shut out the New York Mets 2-0, thereby sweeping the three-game series. In the fourth inning, Ryan Zimmerman crushed a solo home run (his 22nd) into deep left-center field at Citi Field, clearing the original wall in back of the "Party Deck" seats that were installed this spring. Ian Desmond added an insurance run with another home run (his 23rd) in the eighth inning. Desmond has more homers than any other shortstop in the majors, and is almost guaranteed a Silver Slugger award for that position, if not a Golden Glove. Same thing for Zimmerman.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, so the gap between the Nationals and the Braves in the NL East race has grown from 5 1/2 games to 8 1/2 games, an almost insurmountable barrier this late in the season. The magic number for the Nats to clinch the division title has shrunk to just 11. [The Nationals and Braves both rest tomorrow, and then face each other in a three-game series in Atlanta; Saturday's 4:00 game is sure to be broadcast on FOX-TV.]
[On Tuesday night, pinch-hitter Tyler Moore provided the decisive RBIs with a two-run homer in the seventh inning, thereby preventing knuckle-ball thrower R.A. Dickey from getting his 19th win of the year. The Nats put two more runs on the board in the top of the ninth inning, one of which was batted in by Bryce Harper, who became the first teenager since 1996 to get four hits in one game. (The last one before him? Andruw Jones, then of the Atlanta Braves.) Final score: Nats 5, Mets 3.]
Lock on the postseason?
I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch, but according to coolstandings.com (hat tip to Dave Givens), the Nationals now have a 99.4% probability of winning the National League Eastern Division, and a 0.6% probability of getting a wild card berth, meaning they are absolutely guaranteed to make it to the postseason. I wonder what their forecasts of the Braves and Red Sox were at this time last year?
With a record of 89-54 and 19 games left in the regular season (ten at home), the Nationals have a very good shot at reaching the stratospheric 100-win level for the 2012 season. I wonder how many experts forecast that at the beginning of this season?
Nationals Park photos
I put some new photos from last Saturday's thrilling game on the Nationals Park page, including the one below. More player photos are coming soon as well.
Miami Marlins first baseman Carlos Lee and manager Ozzie Guillen appear baffled by the "IGNITE YOUR NATITUDE" scoreboard display. (¿Qué cosa es eso?) It may have seemed incongruous with the Marlins ahead (6-5) and so few fans left after the 2 1/2-hour rain delay, but the way things turned out, it was perfectly fitting.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 13 Sep 2012, 1: 17 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.)