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September 23, 2022 [LINK / comment]

60!!! Aaron Judge ties Babe Ruth

With two weeks left to play in the regular season, it was almost inevitable that Aaron Judge was going to reach the fabled 60-home run plateau. The fact that he did so at home in (New) Yankee Stadium and as part of such a dramatic comeback win on Tuesday night was icing on the proverbial cake. As the first batter in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Yankees behind the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 8-4, there didn't seem to be much risk in pitching to Judge. Well, on a 3-1 pitch he crushed that ball, which sailed over the inner section of seats in left field, landing several rows into the bleachers beyond. BOOM!!! He thus tied Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs, which he hit in 1927. We can expect Judge to tie Roger Maris's record of 61 any day now, and probably surpass it by the end of the month. Right now Judge leads the American League in batting average (.316) and RBIs (128) as well as home runs, and has an excellent chance to win the AL Triple Crown.

Perhaps more importantly, that homer by Judge sparked an incredible rally that culminated with a walk-off grand slam hit by Giancarlo Stanton. Final score: Yankees 9, Pirates 8. Does this mean that old Bronx Bombers' magic is back? The Yankees have bounced back from an awful August (10-18, virtually the same as the Washington Nationals), and are 12-6 so far in September. They are several games behind the Houston Astros in the race for the best American League record, and several games ahead of the Cleveland Guardians, so there is little doubt that they will end up as the #2 seed in the AL.

After a slump in August, the Phillies' Kyle Schwarber has improved lately, and just reached the 40-home run mark for the first time in his career. His team mate Bryce Harper has returned to the lineup after missing several weeks due to a broken thumb, but this year has been pretty much a washout for him -- relatively speaking. Paul Goldschmidt (with 35) is tied for fourth place in the National League home run race, and his chances of winning the NL Triple Crown are dwindling fast.

The Nationals struggle to matter

As the first MLB team to be officially eliminated from playoff contention, the Washington Nationals have been challenged by the lack of any clear motivation other than salvaging pride. The Nats 6-5 loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis on September 7th was one of those ugly meltdowns that you would just as soon forget about. Having shaken off the 4-1 loss on Tuesday, they were enjoying a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning. But for whatever reason, closing pitcher Kyle Finnegan just couldn't get outs, and the home team scored five times to win the game. It wasn't even a closing situation, and Finnegan may not have been used to being used in that role. He had not pitched for several days, and apparently just needed some practice. It didn't work. But no matter, the Nats bounced back with an 11-6 win on Thursday afternoon, as the young left fielder Alex Call went 4 for 5 at the plate, hitting a home run and getting 5 RBIs.

The Nats' "warm streak" came to an abrupt end in Philadelphia over the weekend of September 9th-11th, as they were swept by the Phillies. Patrick Corbin went nearly seven innings on the mound but took the loss in the 5-3 Friday game. On Saturday, Joey Meneses homered to give the Nats an early 2-0 lead, but Erick Fedde was replaced in the fifth inning after giving up four runs (including a homer by Bryce Harper), and the home team won the game, 8-5. Sunday's game featured an agonizing rain delay of more than three and a half hours, setting a record for Citizens Bank Park. The game resumed in the third inning, and the Nats quickly took a 4-1 lead, but then Erasmo Ramirez and other relief pitchers gave up multiple runs, as the Nats lost, 7-5.

The Nationals then hosted the Baltimore Orioles in a two-game series in Washington, and the visitors won both of those games. On Tuesday the Nats took the lead on a two-run rally in the third inning, but then fell behind after starting pitcher Cory Abbott was replaced by Hunter Harvey. Final score: Orioles 4, Nats 3. In the Wednesday game, the Nats once again took an early lead (this time 2-1) thanks to solo homers by Riley Adams and Luke Voit (as well as fine pitching by Patrick Corbin), but then Mason Thompson gave up four runs in the seventh inning, as the Orioles won it, 6-2. That one hurt.

Friday the 16th marked a big turnaround for the Nationals, as the Miami Marlins came to town. Josiah Gray gave up four runs in the second inning, while the Nats failed to score at all until the seventh inning. That's when the amazing Joey Meneses smashed a ball that bounced off the top of the center field wall and was deflected by the center fielder, rolling over 100 feet along the warning track in right-center field. Meneses (age 30) is not the fastest runner, but he managed to circle the bases and score an inside-the-park home run, the first by a Nationals player since Michael A. Taylor did so in September, 2017. (That was actually an inside-the-park grand slam!) Anyway, the Nats scored four runs in that inning and one more in the eighth inning (on an RBI double by Ildemaro Vargas), and held on to win it, 5-4. On Saturday afternoon, the Nats scored exactly one run in each of the first five innings, four of them on home runs -- by Lane Thomas, Luke Voit, Victor Robles, and Alex Call. Closing pitcher Kyle Finnegan kept his cool and got the save for the second day in a row. On Sunday the Nats just couldn't overcome the Marlins' pitching ace Sandy Alcantara, losing by a score of 3-1.

On Monday the Nats flew down to Atlanta, and starting pitcher Cory Abbott was simply outmatched by the Braves' Kyle Wright. Joey Meneses broke out of the minor slump by hitting 4 for 4, but it wasn't enough as the Nats fell, 5-2. On Tuesday the much-improved Patrick Corbin took the mound, but he had to leave due to back spasms before the first inning was over. The Nats bullpen did a fine job covering for him, but the Braves still won it, 3-2. On Wednesday afternoon Paolo Espino went four innings, giving up two runs, and the bullpen came through once again, not allowing any more runs by the Braves. The Nats were behind 2-1 in the top of the seventh when Joey Meneses hit yet another clutch home run with a man on base, putting the Nats ahead. That 3-2 victory was a big shot in the arm for the beleaguered Nationals.

Throughout September, the Nationals have benefited greatly by amazing defensive plays at shotstop by CJ Abrams, as well as by Joey Meneses and some of their other outfielders. Those players are clearly motivated to land a starting role on the team next spring. After resting on Thursday, the Nats begin a weekend series in Miami against the Marlins.

Spoiler alert!

As the NL East Division race heats up, the other five MLB division races are pretty much decided already, with leads of at least seven games over the second-place teams in all cases. The Atlanta Braves briefly took sole possession of first place ahead of the New York Mets in the NL East, only to drop back again. The Nats play three more games against the Braves (next week), followed by a four-game series against the Phillies, and then wrapping up the season with three games against the Mets in New York. Given that only one and a half games separate the Mets and Braves right now, it is safe to say that the Nationals will have a decisive role in determining the divisional championship this year.

September 6, 2022 [LINK / comment]

Corbin out-pitches Scherzer!?

The pitching matchup in the Saturday game between the Nationals and the Mets could not have seemed more lopsided: Patrick Corbin, then with a 5-17 win-loss record, faced the eminent future Hall-of-Famer Max Scherzer, then with a 9-4 record and eagerly looking for his 200th career win. But Corbin was coming off a stirring win against the Reds the previous Sunday (which I saw), whereas Scherzer had lost his last two games, against the Yankees and the Rockies. In the top of the first inning, Luis Garcia surprised everyone by hitting a solo home run off Scherzer, who is known for giving up homers as well as getting strikeouts. In the third inning, the Mets tied the game with a solo home run by Eduardo Escobar, and the game remained tied 1-1 until [after Max Scherzer was relieved in ths sixth inning. No decision for Max. (He apparently pulled a muscle or something.)] Then in the eighth inning, Lane Turner put the Nationals ahead with yet another solo home run, his 15th four-bagger of the year. Then in the ninth inning, the Nats piled on five more runs in a succession of clutch hits and one weird play in which CJ Abrams (not "C.J." apparently) was caught stealing but then second baseman Jeff McNeil committed a throwing error. Final score: Nats 7, Mets 1. [It was another triumph and moment of redemption for Patrick Corbin, who has been harshly maligned for much of this season.]

Patrick Corbin, on his way to his sixth victory of the season, and his first since June 28, on August 28.

On Sunday, the Nats took a 5-1 lead on a four-run rally in the top of the third inning, and added two more runs in the fifth inning as Cesar Hernandez hit his very first home run of the year. (In 2021 he hit 21 homers, and when the Nats signed him, they presumably expected a similar performance this year.) He got the "silent treatment" by his team mates in the dugouts, and then relished congratulations. Hernandez has more hits (124) than any other Nationals player this year, which is surprising given that he seldom gets much recognition. He's just very modest and low-key, but he puts in a full day's "work" almost every day, and does fairly well, with a .248 average. He has 501 at-bats this year, much more than the next Nats player in that category, Nelson Cruz, who has 429. Anyway, Erick Fedde got his first win since June 21, giving up only one run over six full innings. Just like the day before, the final score was Nats 7, Mets 1.

[And thus, the Nationals confounded almost everyone's expectations by beating the Mets in two out of three games, their second consecutive series victory. Having won five out of their last six games (excluding tonight), the Nats now have a reasonable chance to emerge from the "dungeon" of Major League Baseball, where they have languished since July; the Oakland A's and Cincinnati Reds are in their sights. Now with a 48-88 record, they might even reach the 60-game win threshold, possibly replacing the Miami Marlins in fourth place of the NL East. At least the last four weeks of the 2022 season should offer some excitement and encouragement for us long-suffering Nats fans.]

Meneses out-hits Soto!?

Numbers don't lie, right? Well, if that's true, then Joey Meneses has been a better player than Juan Soto since the latter was traded to the San Diego Padres on August 2. After putting up truly spectacular numbers in his first month in major league baseball, he began the month of September in the most jaw-dropping fashion that you can imagine: hitting three singles in his first five at-bats and then smashing a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to beat the Oakland A's 7-5. The Nats thereby took two of three games in that series, their first such victory since doing likewise against the Dodgers in Los Angeles in late July. So of course, since that was the Nationals' very first walk-off home run this year, I had to update the Washington Nationals BIG moments page. Notably absent from either the walk-off home run list or the grand slam list on that page: former National star (and likely future Hall-of-Famer) Juan Soto!

Since that big triumph, for which he was given a ceremonial Gatorade shower, Meneses has gotten seven more hits over 23 at-bats, keeping his batting average well above the .300 level. He led the way in the Nats' upset 6-0 shutout of the Cardinals in St. Louis on Labor Day afternoon, going 3 for 5 at the plate. In that game, another unlikely starting pitcher (Anibal Sanchez) got the win, his second of the year. In tonight's game the Nats took an early 1-0 lead, but starting pitcher Paolo Espino gave up three runs in the fourth inning and took the loss; he now has an 0-7 record for the year. And thus, the Nats' bid for their first four-game winning streak of the season was thwarted as the Cardinals won it, 4-1. Nevertheless, Joey Meneses once again did his part for the Nationals, hitting two doubles, even though he did not score or bat in a run either time.

Batting performance since August 2
Statistic Joey Meneses Juan Soto
(as a Padre)
At Bats 122 94
Batting average .344 .245
Home Runs 7 3
Runs Batted In 16 6
On-base Plus Slugging .957 .802

Includes the Sept. 6 game for Meneses but not for Soto.

Chances are somewhere between 90 and 95 percent that Soto will bounce back and do better than Meneses next year, but at least Nats fans have good reason to hope that their team will become competitive once again sooner rather than later.

Joey Meneses takes a lead from first base after hitting a single in the fifth inning, on August 28.

Braves chase the Mets

In Pittsburgh earlier this evening, the Pirates beat the New York Mets, 8-2, and in Oakland the Braves took an early 3-0 lead over the Athletics, but have struggled to stay ahead since then. If they manage to win, the Braves will have tied the Mets atop the National League East Division.

Judge homer watch

Yankee outfielder Aaron Judge has hit two more home runs this week, and now has 54 for the year. That ties Mickey Mantle's career high, which he reached in 1961, the same year that Roger Maris set the modern-era record with 61 home runs. With four weeks left to play, he is on course to reach 64 or so home runs for the regular season as a whole.

August 31, 2022 [LINK / comment]

Watch out, Babe and Roger: Here comes the Judge!

Until this week, only two New York Yankee players had ever hit 50 or more home runs in one year twice during their career: Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. Now you can add a third player to that list: Aaron Judge! He hit his 50th home run on Monday, and his 51st home run on Tuesday. Both homers were in games against the Angels, in Anaheim. With five full weeks left to play, he has an inside track to surpass both Babe Ruth (60, over 154 games) and Roger Maris (61, over 162 games) in the non-PED era home run race. Judge hit 52 home runs in 2017. Adding to the drama is the fact that Judge is in the final year of his contract with the New York Yankees, and can expect to get an annual salary comparable to that of Juan Soto.

On the National League side, the Phillies' Kyle Schwarber has slowed down in his pace of hitting home runs, logging only 3 of them during the month of August, after hitting 12 in June and 10 in July. Hot on his heels is Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals: he has 33 for the year, including 9 in August. He is tied with Pete Alonso (of the Mets) in the RBI category, with 105, and leads the majors in batting average, with .332. Goldschmidt has a very real chance at picking up the first Triple Crown in the National League since 1937, when Joe Medwick (of the Cardinals) accomplished that feat. The last American League Triple Crown was won by Miguel Cabrera (of the Tigers) in 2012.

Nationals put an end to an awful streak

On Sunday afternoon, the Washington Nationals faced the Cincinnati Reds, who had won the first two games of the series. With Patrick Corbin on the mound, the home team's prospects did not look good at all. The last game he won was on June 28, at home against the Pirates. Since then he has struggled to get batters out, taking the MLB lead in the losses category, with 17. The two most ignominious days for him were July 27 and August 6, in both cases being replaced after giving up several runs before the end of the first inning. But he has shown improvement, including the game in San Diego on the previous Sunday when he gave up only two runs over 5 1/3 innings; with some run support he could have won that game.

Corbin's struggles have been matched by other Nationals starting pitchers, who were then in the midst of a historically bad streak in which none of them had been credited with a win for 43 straight games! That is almost impossible to imagine. The last winning starting pitcher for the Nats was Josiah Gray, on July 6. In the 43 games from July 7 through August 27, Nats starters were 0-20, while the relievers were 12-11. Obviously, lack of run support was part of the problem, but it still added up to one big stinkeroo for the starting rotation.

In sharp contrast, this past Sunday's game may have marked a big turning point for Corbin and for his team. It so happens that I witnessed the high drama in person at Nationals Park, accompanied as usual by my old friend Dave Givens. The first two innings didn't go very well, and I dreaded the possibility of another world-class meltdown, but the Reds only scored two runs.

Showing true grit and determination, Patrick Corbin pitches to Austin Romine (who flew out) immediately after Stuart Fairchild hit a leadoff home run in the top of the second inning, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead. Then Corbin struck out the next two batters.

The Nats finally staged a rally in the bottom of the 4th inning, sparked by Cesar Hernandez's leadoff double. Then the Reds pitcher Nick Lodolo hit the next two batters (Joey Meneses and Luke Voit) to load the bases. Nelson Cruz drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that could have been called a strike, and the Nats had their first run. But then Lane Thomas lined out to shortstop and C.J. Abrams was called out on strikes, leaving it all up to the catcher, Riley Adams. With a batting average under .200, chances looked bleak, but he roused the crowd with a single to center field that tied the game. For some reason, the third base coach waved the stocky Luke Voit home as he reached third base, and he was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. One inning later, the Nats new third baseman, Ildemaro Vargas (age 31) smashed a home run about 8 rows up in the left field stands, giving the Nats a 3-2 lead. Hallelujah! To my surprise, Corbin returned to the mound in the top of the sixth inning, and in spite of my trepidations, he got the three batters out in quick order. From the third through the sixth inning, Corbin allowed only one hit and one walk, with five strikeouts altogether. Hunter Harvey Jr., Carl Edwards Jr., and Kyle Finnegan each pitched a full inning, very efficiently, as only one Reds player got a hit during the final third of the game. Final score: Nats 3, Reds 2.

One reason I was eager to see a game was curiousity about all the new Nationals players. Just like the June 17 game that I saw (see my June 24 blog post), most of the players' faces were virtually unknown to me. [The big changes are that Ildemaro Vargas has replaced Maikel Franco at third base (Franco was "designated for assignment"), Joey Meneses has replaced Juan Soto in right field, and Luke Voit has replaced Josh Bell at first base. C.J. Abrams filled in for Luis Garcia at shortstop, and it appears likely that Garcia (who is error-prone, defensively) will shift to second base. Riley Adams will remain the second-string catcher, as Keibert Ruiz has been doing very well overall. Obviously, there are big questions about center fielder and designated hitter for next year...]

Nationals lineup  28 Aug 2022

TOP ROW (L to R): Lane Thomas (LF), C.J. Abrams (SS), Joey Meneses (RF), Luke Voit (1B), and Riley Adams (C)

BOTTOM ROW (L to R): Cesar Hernandez (2B), Ildemaro Vargas (3B), Victor Robles (CF), Patrick Corbin (P), and Nelson Cruz (DH).

Roll your mouse over the image to compare these players to the ones at the respective positions on June 17; only four of those ten players (underlined) were in the lineup: Lane Thomas, Cesar Hernandez, Victor Robles, and Nelson Cruz.

Last night, the Nationals took a 4-1 lead over the visiting Oakland Athletics after two innings, and then starting pitcher Erick Fedde suffered another "meltdown." It's strange how he is so inconsistent: sometimes very good, sometimes lousy. He was replaced during the third inning, and the next pitcher ((Hunter Harvey) gave up a two-run double as the A's took the lead, 6-4. Two innings later, Sean Murphy hit a grand slam to give the A's a 10-5 lead, essentially winning the game. Final score: 10-6.

In tonight's game, however, the Nats took a 4-1 lead and didn't give it up. In the fifth inning the Nats got some great clutch RBI singles from Josh Palacios and Luis Garcia, followed by a two-run homer by Luke Voit. One inning later, Ildemaro Vargas knocked in another run with a double. Anibal Sanchez pitched seven full innings, and got his very first win of the year; he missed the first half of the season due to injury and is now 1-5.

And so, the Nats finished August with a 44-86 record, 38 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Mets. That officially breaks their previous games-behind record of 38 (on September 27, 2009), as shown in the new monthly table on the Washington Nationals page, which has been updated with new roster information, etc.

Nationals Park LF corner 28 Aug 2022

Nationals Park from the left field corner, after the game.

"Little League Baseball Classic"

As I mentioned briefly late last month, special MLB games have been played recently in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (where the Little League World Series is played every year) and Dyersville, Iowa (where the movie Field Of Dreams was filmed). The main significance for most baseball fans is that an actual Major League Baseball game had been played at a nearby minor league ballpark just a few days earlier. Last year the "home team" Cleveland Indians defeated the Los Angeles Angels 3-0, but somehow I wasn't paying much attention. The final three games of the Little League World Series had to be postponed due to bad weather played. (The event was canceled in 2020, for obvious reasons.)

In case I didn't mention this before, the "Neutral" category on the Anomalous stadiums page has updated information abouthas been divided between "Emergency" (for sudden, brief relocations due to bad weather, etc.) and "Promotional" (for games played in other countries or in special U.S. locations). For the record, my initial reaction to this game (September 29, 2017) was that it "reeks of cheap sentimentalism." Well, what do I know? smile

Bowman Field

New stadium page: Bowman Field

And so, I drew three diagrams for Bowman Field, including a 1950s version and a "roofless" version that shows details in the small grandstand. I found some good information on dimensions as well as excellent photographs from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, and from a website called Virtual Globetrotting.

On the day of this year's game it was announced that the Washington Nationals will play the Philadelphia Phillies there next August. It is expected that there will be an MLB game there every year for the indefinite future.

August 21, 2022 [LINK / comment]

War Memorial Stadium update

War Memorial Stadium

Well, that took some doing! After laboriously scrutinizing all the photos I could find for weeks on end, I finally came up with a suitably accurate set of revised diagrams for War Memorial Stadium. It was once the home of the Buffalo Bisons as well as the fictitious NL "New York Knights" from the movie The Natural (1983), starring Robert Redford. As usual, you can compare the new and old (in this case, 2012) diagram versions by clicking on the image, and then moving your mouse away. (Not suitable for mobile devices.) In general, the updated version is larger than the old version, especially along the north side of the huge roofed grandstand. All the usual details, such as home and visitor dugouts, slope of access ramps, and even the entry portals, which were not included in my diagrams until the latter part of 2011.

Note that most of those diagrams are larger than the standard size: 600 x 600 pixels rather than 500 x 480 pixels. In coming months, more and more diagrams will be revised to conform to the new standard, which allows for nearly all stadiums to fit without being truncated. It also allows more space for stadium profiles, which are very crowded on some pages.

Seeing the site of War Memorial Stadium in person was a very interesting experience. Unlike the sites of Griffith Stadium, Shibe Park, and Ebbets Field, where big buildings now occupy the space, there is a nice ball field and football field for public use, making it easier to imagine what it was like when the old stadium was still standing. That is why I took extra care to render the "site today" diagram.

War Memorial Stadium SE

The southeast gate to what used to be War Memorial Stadium, in Buffalo, New York. This would correspond to center field.

For the record, I updated the Diagram update log for the first time this year. It only includes stadiums in which MLB games have been played (such as Sahlen Field in Buffalo, but not War Memorial Stadium), whereas the Stadium lists page includes various miscellaneous stadiums -- minor league, foreign, etc.

Nats struggle to stay afloat

The Washington Nationals surprised many people by winning their first two games in San Diego (6-3 on Thursday and 3-1 on Friday), and they took early 1-0 leads in both the Saturday and Sunday games. In both cases, however, home runs by former Nationals players put the Padres ahead in the latter innings, and the Nats lost both games 2-1. On Saturday, Juan Soto tied the game with a solo homer in the fifth inning, and two innings later Josh Bell also hit a solo homer. Bell had been doing poorly since donning the Padres uniform early this month, but his bat finally woke up. On Sunday he hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning, and that was all the Padres needed. Patrick Corbin had been pitching his best game of the year, but for some reason manager Davey Martinez decided to leave him in just a little bit too long. (It's not the first time.) So, the Nats settled for a 2-2 series split, which is not bad, all things considered.

With today's loss, however, the Nats are now 38 games behind the Mets in the NL East standings. That ties for the lowest relative standing since the Nationals were "reborn" in 2005; on September 27, 2009 they were 38 games behind the Phillies, and then won their last seven games of the season, ending up 34 games behind. [This year,] in contrast, there is very little hope that the Nats could keep up the pace with the Mets, which means it is almost certain that they will end the season well over 40 games behind the Mets (or the Braves; see below). [In order to research games-behind historical data,] I recently went through my spreadsheets with all the daily game scores going back to 2005 [with some gaps in data filled from baseball-reference.com], and put them together to derive monthly data that is summarized in a new table on the Washington Nationals page.

One of the Nationals' bright new stars is a 30-year old guy from northwestern Mexico named Joey Meneses. He signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals in January, and was called up from Rochester on August 2. [He quickly became the first player in franchise history to hit four home runs in his first seven MLB games (see MLB.com), and] in his first 17 games in the major leagues so far, he has hit five home runs and has a .318 batting average. What a shame that his talent wasn't recognized by some MLB scout years before! He and former Padre Luke Voit will apparent share defensive duties at first base; Meneses has also played several games in the outfield. The Nats are also getting solid performance out of catcher Keibert Ruiz, who has been getting banged up by foul tips, etc. The Washington Post had an article about his physical travails [on Friday], and the announcers in this afternoon's game against the Padres also mentioned him being shaken up.

Dodgers soar, while Yankees slouch

The L.A. Dodgers continue to win at a truly historic pace, with a .700 (79-44) win-loss record. The St. Louis Cardinals have won their last seven games, widening their lead over the Brewers in the NL Central Division, but it is hard to see how they could catch up to the New York Mets, who have an inside track to the #2 seed in the playoffs on the NL side. The Atlanta Braves narrowed the gap in the NL East race recently, but the Mets will be very hard to overcome. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees have been slipping badly this month, falling behind the Houston Astros in the race for the #1 seed on the AL side. It's a wide-open race for the three AL wild cards slots, and the Rays, Blue Jays, and Mariners are currently tied, with three other teams close behind.

August 8, 2022 [LINK / comment]

Weekend sweeps alter standings

There were several dramatic showdowns this past weekend, leading to a few shifts in the divisional standings. Most notably, the newly-reinforced San Diego Padres arrived in Los Angeles on Friday to challenge the NL West-leading Dodgers. The results were not pretty: the Dodgers won all three games, and in the closest game (on Sunday), the Padres were shut out, 4-0. Maybe it will take some time for Juan Soto and Josh Bell to acclimated to the desert southwest and play up to their usual standards. The Dodgers have won eight games in a row (having swept the Giants in a four-game series in San Francisco earlier in the week), and now have the highest record in the majors: 75-33.

In the borough of Queens in New York City, after losing the game on Friday the Mets dealt harshly with the second-place Atlanta Braves. The Braves' hot starting pitchers, especially Ian "Jethro Tull" Anderson and Max Fried, just could not rise to the occasion. In the second game on Saturday, Fried (covering first base) was shaken up up landing face down while lunging and trying to throw the ball home after shortstop Dansby Swanson threw it badly to first. The Mets scored two runs on that play. While not quite a sweep, the Mets ended up winning four games of that five-game series, and now have a 70-39 record -- the same as their cross-town rivals in the Bronx!

In the Gateway City, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Yankees in three games straight, [and have taken over first place in the NL Central Division from the Milwaukee Brewers]. The Yanks begin a three-game series in Seattle later tonight, after having lost two of three to the Mariners in New Yankee Stadium last week. It has been a full week since Aaron Judge's last home run (#43 for the year!), when the Yankees beat the Mariners. The Yankees (70-39) are still 9 1/2 games ahead of the Blue Jays, and there's not much chance that they will relinquish first place in the AL East, but you never know...

And, in the City of Brotherly Love, the Phillies swept the Nationals in a four-game series. The Phillies have won nine of their last ten games, and are now the #2 wild card team. In the first game, last Thursday, the Nats briefly had the lead (2-1) thanks in part to their new first baseman, Luke Voit; he hit an RBI single in the first inning. But the Phillies scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Nats rallied in the top of the fifth, getting two runs before Yadiel Hernandez tried to tag up from third base on a short fly ball to right field, and was easily thrown out [to end the inning]. Just dumb baserunning. Almost immediately the game went into a rain delay, and after a futile wait of nearly two hours, the umpires called the game [after the bare minimum amount of play had taken place], so the Phillies won it, 5-4. That was as close as the Nats came to winning in that series. On Saturday Patrick Corbin gave up five runs in the first inning before being relieved -- almost exactly the same thing as happened on July 27 against the Dodgers. Ouch! On Sunday, the Nats' new pitcher Cory Abbott (who had done very well on the previous Tuesday) endured a five-run meltdown [in the fourth inning], and the Phillies never looked back. In the final three games the Nats lost by a combined score of 31 to 8, as Rhys Hoskins homered in all four games.

Tonight the Nationals begin a three-game series in Wrigley Field against the Cubs, with Anibal Sanchez (0-4) starting on the mound. This Thursday the Cubs will take up temporary "home" quarters in a certain ballpark located in Dyersville, Iowa...

Futile home runs

At home on Thursday, the Los Angeles Angels set some kind of record by hitting seven home runs but in each case nobody was on base, and they failed to score any other runs, and somehow managed to lose to the last-place Athletics, 8-7. Shohei Ohtani homered twice, and former National Kurt Suzuki was among the others who homered.

Expanded postseason

In preparation for this year's postseason, which includes three wild card teams in each league for the first time, I had to do some major reformatting of my postseason scores page, which will be updated soon. For the record, I detest adding more teams to the MLB postseason series. It detracts from the regular-season performance of the top-seeded teams, and it's all about squeezing more dollars out of ticket sales and TV broadcast rights. Very short-sighted, in my opinion.

Also for the record, I updated the Diagram update log for the first time this year. It only includes stadiums in which MLB games have been played, whereas the Stadium lists page is more "diverse and inclusive."

Postseason scores, 2022

Major League Baseball championship series, 2022 (PROJECTED AS OF SEPT. 14)
World Champions: TBA
. Wild Card series
Oct. 7-9
Divisional series
Oct. 11-17
League Championship series
Oct. 18-26
World Series
Oct. 28 - Nov. 5
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
NL-wc (6) ??? (.)
NL-C (3) St. Louis Cardinals (.)
NL-E (2) New York Mets (.)    
NL-wc (5) ??? (.)
NL-wc (4) Atlanta Braves (.)
NL-W (1) L.A. Dodgers (.)    
AL-wc (6) ??? (.)
AL-C (3) Cleveland Guardians (.)
AL-W (2) Houston Astros (.)    
AL-wc (5) ??? (.)
AL-wc (4) ??? (.)
AL-E (1) New York Yankees (.)    

See explanatory notes at bottom. As part of the March 2022 collective bargaining agreement, there will be an additional three-game first round, in which the top two wild card teams (#4 and #5 seeds) play each other, and the third wild card team (#6) plays the lowest-seeded divisional winner. In the first round, the higher-seeded team will have home field advantage for all three games. Seeds are based on the teams' regular-season winning percentage. The top two divisional winners in each league will get a "bye" to the second round.

Explanatory notes

(Regular season winning percentages in parentheses.) Boldfaced scores indicate the winning team. Underlined scores denote extra-inning games. Olive-shaded score boxes denote games won by the VISITING team. Higher-seeded teams (those with the initial home field advantage) are shown on the BOTTOM side in each matchup. However, beginning with 2012, each league has TWO wild card teams, competing in a one-game "play-in," and whichever of those two teams that wins in each league is displayed below (after the outcome is known), so as to properly align with the subsequent divisional series scores. Beginning in 2003 and continuing through 2016, the league that won the All Star Game got the initial home field advantage in the World Series; prior to 2003, initial home field advantage in the World Series alternated from year to year. Except for 2002 (the infamous tie), the American League won the All Star Game every year between 1997 and 2009. Beginning in 2017, home field advantage in the World Series goes to the team with the higher regular season winning percentage.

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Baseball books:

See Sources for a brief description of the above books. Also see more specialized books on the Ebbets Field, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium pages.

Coming Attractions

General diagrams
to be updated:

General diagrams
yet to be created:

City map/diagrams
yet to be created:
"Site today" diagrams
yet to be created:

(Includes major revisions, minor revisions, pages with additional diagrams, and future stadiums that are under construction. This is only a rough guide; the sequence is subject to change.)

Stadium construction

Soon after the 2017 opening of the new home of the Atlanta Braves (SunTrust Park), construction began on the future home of the Texas Rangers, a very brief lapse. The last significant lapse occurred from March 2012 (when Marlins Park was completed), September 2014 (when construction on SunTrust Park began). Before that, there was at least one major league baseball stadium under construction continually from September 1986 until March 2012. Both the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays hope to get public funding for a new stadium, but near-term prospects are bleak.

NEW! Stadium construction page, with a chronology of the past 30 years.

Research department: