Nats can't keep up with Joneses
With Chad Cordero on the mound and holding a one-run lead, the Nationals were only one out away from sealing what would have been an even more triumphant comeback than on Friday night. John Smoltz totally dominated the Nats' batters for seven innings, and the Braves had built a 6-0 lead by the middle of the sixth inning, but the intermittently feisty D.C. crew scored two runs in the bottom of the inning (solo homers) plus an amazing five runs in the eighth, capped by a go-ahead RBI single by rookie Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals were on the very threshold of glory, but then consecutive home runs by Chipper and Andruw Jones retook the lead in the top of the ninth, and pretty much put an end to the Nationals' postseason hopes this afternoon. They are only 4 1/2 games behind in the wild card race, but they the fact that they went 4-6 in this home stand does not bode well. Final score: Atlanta 9, Washington 7. I had another rare opportunity to see the Nationals on TV yesterday (they lost, 4-0), as the game was broadcast regionally by FOX Sports, but today's game cablecast by TBS was blacked out in Virginia, and presumably throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Boo-oo!
Washington wins, 9-7!
Ironically, the football game being played a few miles to the east at the very same time ended up with the very same score, except that the Washington Redskins came out on top, beating Da Bears. This was almost certainly the first time in history that regular season professional baseball and football games have been played on the same day in Washington (or its suburbs). Attendance at RFK Stadium was a respectable 31,834 ("announced," that is), while [90,138] attended the Redskins game at FedEx Field, adding up to over [120,000] combined. Since this was the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a commemorative "Freedom Walk" was held from the Pentagon to the Mall, adding to the traffic congestion in Our Nation's Capital.
L-o-n-g road trip: Saints overcome adversity
Perhaps the biggest game in the pro sports world today was the victory by the presently homeless New Orleans Saints over the host Carolina Panthers. If ever there was an opportunity for a professional sports team to rebuild a city's civic pride and confidence, this is it. The Saints do not expect the Superdome to be repaired in time for the end of the football season, and still do not know whether they will play any of their "home" games in a regional venue, such as San Antonio's Alamodome or Baton Rouge's Tiger Stadium on the LSU campus. More than likely, they'll play their entire 16-game schedule on the road. Washington is not among their opponents this year, however, even though both teams are in the NFC.