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June 22, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Nationals choke in Los Angeles

After the Nationals' disappointing final two games in San Diego, everyone was hoping that the Nationals would rise to the occasion in the big pitching showdown in L.A. between Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw. After all, there was a Strasburg mini-poster in the Sunday Washington Post! Alas, that did not come to pass, as Strasburg had a tight muscle in his back and decided to give it a rest rather than risk a serious injury, as he has done in the past. His replacement on the mound, Yusmeiro Petit, did a very good job, going six innings while giving up just three runs. But that wasn't good enough, as the Nationals could only manage to score one run during the [seven] innings that Kershaw pitched. Dodgers 4, Nats 1.

But last night's game was a different story. Bryce Harper hit a solo homer in the first inning, his second of the past week and 15th of the year. Is he finally back on track? In the fifth inning, Danny Espinosa did likewise -- his 13th homer of the year. He has the second-most home runs in the majors since May 29, if I read that caption on MASN right. But the rest of the Nats batters were inconsistent, getting [just one out of ten] hits with runners in scoring position. They actually out-hit the Dodgers 11 to 7, but all that mattered was the three-run home run by Yasmani Grandal (who?) in the bottom of the eighth. That spoiled what had been a magnificent outing by starting pitcher Tanner Roark. Part of the problem was base-running mistakes: Roark was thrown out at third by second baseman Chase Utley, wasting the double he hit right after Espinosa's homer. Also, Wilson Ramos was thrown out at home on a single (by Tanner Roark!) to left field after being waved ahead by the third base coach. [That was the one hit with RISP.] That was just stupid; everybody knows Ramos can't run. But in general it was the wasted opportunities for hitters, especially Ryan Zimmerman who struck out (after doubling in his previous at bat) with the bases loaded to end the top of the fifth inning. Argh-h-h! Final score: 3-2. I asked on Facebook, "When is the last time a team has hit five doubles, none of which resulted in a run?"

Tonight the Nats try to avoid being swept, with Joe Ross facing Julio Urias. Ross is good (6-4 record, compared to 0-2 for Urias), and the Nats should win. After a day of rest, the Nats head to Milwaukee for a three-game series agains the Brewers.

Odds 'n ends

I added a second football diagram to the Roosevelt Stadium page, since the first one (with the gridiron extending from the infield out to center field) was extremely far from the seats. It is more likely that the second such diagram (with the gridiron parallel to the first base line) was the standard arrangement.

I added four new photos (which I took [two days ago]) to the Davenport Field page, including the one below. While there, I noticed that the distances to the outfield fence have been reduced slightly since the last time I saw a baseball game there in 2011: from 335 feet to 332 along the foul lines, and from 377 feet to 370 to the power alleys. (I previously indicated my belief that the power alley distances were exaggerated, and that is probably still the case, but it may simply be a matter of where the distance markers were placed.

Davenport Field 2015 Nat. Champs

The back of the right field bleachers at Davenport Field, home of the University of Virginia Cavaliers, the 2015 National Champions.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 22 Jun 2016, 3: 35 PM

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