Not in my wildest dreams would I pretend to know what it takes to be a baseball manager, but I was dumbfounded tonight when Frank Robinson let pitcher Tony Armas bat in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs. Armas, who has just returned from the disabled list*, had already pitched five shutout innings and would have gotten credit for a win had a pinch hitter gone in to bat for him. But no-o. He lined out to first base, raising the Nats' [individual] left-on-base total to an obscene 17. In the very next inning, the Diamondbacks scored three runs, taking the lead and Armas was relieved of his duties. Arghhh. As of midnight, the Nats are down, 3-2.
LATE, LATE UPDATE: Arizona held on to win, 3-2, in spite of the fact that they were outhit by the Nationals, 10-3. Total team LOB for Washington: 13, pretty awful.
Baseball Crank has the hard data on the cumulative division-by-division win-loss records so far this year, and the NL East came out even higher than I thought, with a net +16 edge. That makes the Washington Nationals, currently 3 games above .500, look even better. *Considering the many injuries the team has suffered lately (Jose Vidro just sprained his ankle), their accomplishments look truly amazing. The NL Central is -15 against teams from other divisions.
Thanks to Mark London for sponsoring the Three Rivers Stadium page, and for informing me that said stadium had a full dirt infield in its first three years, 1970-1972. That is not mentioned in my main source, Lowry's Green Cathedrals, but Mark spent a lot of time at Three Rivers in the 70s and sounds like he knows what he's talking about. So, I've revised the Turf page, including updated info for the Metrodome and a few others. Note that the list of "Coming attractions" in the left column of the Baseball page has been reordered to reflect a higher priority given to stadiums that have been sponsored. And, yes, that is a hint.