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May 28, 2006 [LINK]
Nats win third straight series
For most teams, winning four games in a row is not all that unusual, but it was the very first time the Nationals had done so this year. The final game in the series against the Astros on Thursday night was one of those tests of team character, and they passed. Poor Matt LeCroy was simply not up to the task of filling in as emergency reserve catcher, however, as the Astros stole bases with impunity, giving Frank Robinson another Maalox moment. Even so, the relief pitchers did not buckle under the pressure, and got out of multiple jams in the late innings, enabling the Nats to hold on and win the game, and the series.
Fortunately, first-string catcher Brian Schneider was reactivated from the DL on Friday, as the Nats beat the Dodgers 10-4. Livan Hernandez pitched another solid game, but he should have been taken out one inning earlier; he gave up three runs in the seventh. Saturday's game was televised by FOX (not subject to blackout ), and new pitcher Shawn Hill only gave up one run in seven innings. (If he had had any run support, it would have been six games in a row.) This afternoon's game was a real slug-fest, as Nick Johnson, who has been in a terrible slump all month, hit two homers, and Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Zimmerman got one each. The Dodgers have been one of the hottest teams lately, so beating them two out of three games was a huge achievement for the Nationals. As a result, L.A. has slipped behind Arizona in the highly competitive NL West.
To put things in perspective, this was the first home stand in which the Nats won more games than they lost since the end of June last year. Most importantly, the Nationals have finally climbed above the .400 threshold of respectability. Unfortunately, Jose Guillen was put on the disabled list after his sore hamstring refused to heal. He is being replaced by Mike Vento, from the New Orleans Zephyrs.
Cubs' comeback falls short
Today's Braves-Cubs game was one for the record books: Atlanta hit eight home runs, a franchise record, taking advantage of the winds. Somehow the Cubs put together enough runs to close the gap in the ninth inning, giving the forlorn fans in Wrigleyville something to cheer about at long last. An error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez in the eleventh inning allowed Atlanta to score what turned out to be the winning run, however. Now the Cubs have lost six in a row. Ouch! On the bright side, 124,089 fans attended the three-game series against the Braves, setting a Cubs franchise record.
Great American Ballpark
The Great American Ballpark page has been updated with a new diagram that conforms to the new standard, and the photos on it have been enlarged and sharpened. That was where Ken Griffey Jr. hit that 11th-inning walk-off home run on May 11, the first of two heartbreaks for the Nationals that week.
Bonds hits #715 *
* Duly noted. As someone holding up a protest banner at a recent Giants game observed, "Babe Ruth did it on hot dogs and beer."
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 11 Oct 2006, 10: 35 PM
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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 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
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.)