Nationals are on a winning streak!
In case you missed it, the Washington Nationals finally seem to have gotten their act together, winning four games in a row for the first time this season, and four consecuive series as well. After their successful trip to Atlanta last week, they headed to Cincinnati on May 31, but Patrick Corbin had another poor outing (the second in his last three starts), giving up eight runs (six earned). He had to be replaced during the third inning. The smokin' hot Juan Solo had another homer, but the Nats still lost to the Reds, 9-3. The next day (Saturday), Erick Fedde pitched four solid innings, giving up two runs, while the bullpen prevented any more scoring. Home runs by Gerardo Parra, Matt Adams, and Brian Dozier tilted the outcome in favor of the visitors, as the Nats won, 5-2. On Sunday, Anthony Rendon led the offense, while Max Scherzer struck out 15 batters (!!!) over eight full innings. Dave Martinez was going to replace him in the bottom of the eighth, but Max refused to leave and went on to strike out Joey Votto to end the inning. Nats 4, Reds 1.
After a day of rest as they headed home to Washington, the Nationals welcomed the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Stephen Strasburg had a nightmarish first inning, giving up four runs, plus another in the second inning. But then the Nats started to come back, and a clutch three-run homer by Anthony Rendon in the fifth inning put the Nats ahead 6-5. Three more runs that inning gave the home team a comfortable margin, and they held on to win, 9-5. This afternoon, Anibal Sanchez had a fine outing for the second time in a row, after losing the first six decisions of the 2019 season. He left the game with a 4-1 lead, in line for his second win of the year, but the bullpen let him down -- in the eighth inning once again! Kyle Barraclough and Wander Suero gave up back-to-back homers that tied the game 4-4. But in the bottom of the ninth inning, Trea Turner smashed a high pitch into the visitors' (left field) bullpen to give the Nats a 6-4 victory. It was Trea's second walk-off homer this year (the first one was one March 31), and the third for the Nats already this year. The Nats had four walk-off homers in 2008, 2010, and 2015, but never more than that. So, they may just set a team record in that category this year.
Tomorrow night, the Nationals will begin a four-game series in San Diego against the Padres. They are now only five games below .500 (28-33), and only 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies.
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium tweak
Here is yet another minor touch-up of a "cookie-cutter" stadium diagram: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium diagrams. I recently noticed that some time in the 1970s most of the lateral walkway in the upper deck was filled by seats, so there are now separate 1966 and 1974 upper-deck diagrams. In addition, compared to the last such update (on April 28, 2016), the upper deck is slightly bigger. That post had a preliminary list of stadiums that feature "ribbed" roofs, to which I have added Riverfront Stadium (updated on April 16, 2019). I think the following list is now complete:
- Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (1965, Atlanta)
- Angel Stadium (1966, Anaheim)
- Riverfront Stadium (1970, Cincinnati)
- Veterans Stadium (1971, Philadelphia)
- Olympic Stadium (1976, Montreal)
- Exhibition Stadium -- left field (1977, Toronto)
- Hiram Bithorn Stadium (1980, Puerto Rico)
- Progressive Field (1994, Cleveland)
Basketball in Canada!
Last Saturday marked the first time ever that an NBA finals game was played outside the United States. The home team Toronto Raptors beat the favored Golden State Warriors in Game 1, then lost (just barely) in Game 2, and won in Game 3 tonight. Basketball is not nearly as big in Canada as is hockey, of course. The Toronto Raptors played their first few seasons at what was then called Skydome and is now called the Rogers Centre, so I updated the basketball diagram on that page to more accurately depict the positioning of the temporary seats used in basketball games.
The mail bag
Mark London and Angel Amezquita each provided some information on the location of Three Rivers Stadium relative to other stadiums before and afterward, and I made a small adjustment to the "vicinity" thumbnail map/diagram on that page.
John Morris informed me that I had the wrong year in a caption of photo that my brother John took of the Fenway Park. So, I corrected the date on the Fenway Park page based on what John (Clem) told me: It was 1998, not 1996.
More news from Mike Zurawski and other to get to soon, including recent developments with the Oakland A's proposed new stadium. Stay tuned!!!