October 22, 2017

Strasburg Redux

September 25, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

Washington has many fine sportswriters. Atop the list are Tom Boswell, Tim Kurkjian, and until recently John Feinstein. Last season Feinstein was one of the louder voices calling for the Nationals to keep sending Strasburg out every five days in September. And now he is using the failure of the Nationals to make the playoffs […]

No-Hitters on the Road

June 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Like every Mets fan my age, I’ve only been waiting since 1962 for their first no-hitter. Well, that might not be accurate. In those early years there were few illusions about the potential of any Mets pitcher to pitch a no-hitter. We weren’t like the fans of the expansion Montreal Expos in 1969, who got […]

The Glory Days: Dramatic Homers Usher in the 1960s

May 13, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

A pair of monumental home runs ushered in the 1960s, and both blasts have been talked and written about ever since. Bill Mazeroski’s seventh-game homer was the first to end a World Series, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates victory over the New York Yankees. Various polls of fans and writers have ranked it the most dramatic […]

Get Used to It Mr. Strasburg

April 27, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

On the same afternoon when I watched Mike Pelfrey pitch eight innings of one-run ball only to see the bullpen (aided by a muffed fly ball) blow a 4-1 lead and cost him the victory, I saw that the same thing happened to Stephen Strasburg. That is, he left the game as the potential winning […]

April 20, 1912: The First Game at Fenway Park

April 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, here is a look at how the Boston Globe of April 21, 1912 described the first game at Fenway, played the day previously. Of course it was a Red Sox-Yankees affair, with perhaps Boston’s best team ever winning 7-6 on a run in the 11th. (The Yankees, […]

Cardiac Kids Take Chicago

April 9, 2012 by · 10 Comments 

Three tense and tightly contested games yielded two road wins for the 2012 Washington Nationals in Chicago thanks to surprising late inning magic. Call them the “Comeback Kids,” the “Cardiac Kids,” whatever you will, but the Nationals scored nine times in the last two innings during the three-game set in the Windy City.  The late […]

The Milwaukee Brewers Once Famous Mascot

November 11, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Most ballparks now have mascots. But how many have a real live animal mascot? Perhaps the oddest I came across were the 1902 proposed mascots for the Denver and Colorado Springs teams: a live Grizzly Bear and a live Mountain Lion. Other Western League owners frowned on the idea and the bear remained the pet […]

“Twilight Zone” At The World Series

October 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I was going to write about Tony LaRussa’s “Twilight Zone” experience in Game 5 (“I keep calling for Motte. Where’s Motte? When I tell Derek Lilliquist he’s fired, will he think I said ‘your fly is open’?”) and decided to wait until the World Series ended, but after last night’s bizarre Game 6 I’d like […]

Blue Monday: a Bitter Expos Anniversary

October 17, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

“Blue Monday, how I hate Blue Monday” Fats Domino may have sung the words, but it took Expos fans to live the nightmare – and many of us still carry the pain. It was thirty years ago today when we – and by ‘we’ I mean every living, breathing, Expos fan in Canada – watched […]

What Sunk the Braves

October 2, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Good teams don’t fold for no apparent reason. Though buried by the publicity piled onto the Boston Red Sox, who also slipped out of the playoff picture in September, the Atlanta Braves should have seen their slide coming. Plagued all season by an inability to score runs, the Braves plodded through the 2011 season by […]

When Will Girardi Learn?

August 24, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

The Athletics and the Yankees endured quite an intense battle Tuesday night. The Yankees, after trailing 6-0 going into the eighth inning, scored five runs and ultimately lost by just one run. The game ended with the bases loaded and a fly ball just four or five feet shy of a walk-off grand slam. The […]

It Could Have Been Worse, Milwaukee

March 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Opening day 2011 saw the Milwaukee Brewers suffer an improbable defeat, allowing four runs in the ninth inning – punctuated by a two-out, three-run game-winning home run by Ramon Hernandez – in a 7-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. A deflating loss? Yes. Crushing? No doubt. Frustrating? Of course. The worst loss in opening day […]

They Are Two Stepping in Texas

October 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

There is dancing in Texas tonight.  The Texas Rangers played the best two teams in the American League and beat them both in convincing fashion to win the first American League Championship for the franchise after fifty years of frustration.  The anticipation of history in the making gave drama to a game that was decided […]

For a Few Dollars More

October 13, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Cliff Lee is the best hired gun since Clint Eastwood starting taking himself too seriously. The Texas Rangers, born the expansion Washington Senators in 1961, went almost fifty years without winning a post-season series. Then like poor campesinos faced with hired guns from the hacienda, they brought in Cliff Lee. Cue the music as Cliff […]

Joe Girardi’s Crucial Mathematical Error Costs Yankees Game

September 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Picture this: a game lasts over four hours, uses 41 players, features 374 pitches, has two blown saves, and ends in a walk-off hit by pitch — by Mariano Rivera. Welcome to Yankees-Rangers, September 11 (and part of 12), 2010 It was a peculiar game to say the least, and it was no surprise that such […]

Which Closer Will Be Key to Winning It All? Julio, Williamson, Warden in the Mix

August 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It has been a few years now since Jorge Julio and Scott Williamson were prominent major league closers, and it is total conjecture whether either can get back to that level in a major way since they have crossed over to their 30s.  But this much is certain:  They are vital to two of the […]

Webster Wins In Walkoff Fashion Again

June 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

(Webster, N.Y.) If first impressions mean anything, the summer of 2010 promises excitement at Basket Road Field. Matt Delewski (Toledo) slashed a ninth inning one-out single just inside the third base bag plating Wes Winkle (Ball State) with the game’s only run as the Webster Yankees downed the Allegany County Nitros 1-0 in New York […]

The Game That Changed Baseball History

June 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I don’t have to tell you what happened last night. Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game–according to the rules of baseball–but umpire Jim Joyce’s failure to apply Rule 6.05(j) [a batter is out if “after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is tagged before he touches first base”] on the 27th out […]

A Capps-i-tal Idea

April 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals have a negative run differential of minus fourteen, yet a winning record at 12-10.  When they have been bad they have been horrid, but give their bullpen a lead into the late innings and they have been extra-ordinary. Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps have done it by allowing a scant three runs–two […]

The Cardinals’ Favorite Cheese

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m not sure if he listed it amongst his many cheeses during his picnic with Libby two weeks ago, but Hurley really should have packed what is quickly becoming the cheese in Cardinal Nation. Colby Jack. Colby Rasmus was the no-doubter Hero last night.  Two home runs, an early one to give the Cards a […]

Been Down So Long

April 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A scant year ago, Jim Bowden departed Washington, DC with the Nationals baseball team as ruined as his reputation.  Just as we tend to forget the desert at the first oasis, so the barren geography of hopeless losing was washed away this weekend as Matt Capps converted his first five save opportunities and up and […]

Live From Spring Training ’10: Blue Jays Vs. Astros

March 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In a game played primarily by backup players and minor leaguers, the Houston Astros defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0, Friday afternoon in Kissimmee. The Astros scored one run in the first inning on a leadoff triple by Jason Bourgeois and a groundout by Jeff Keppinger and another in the second inning on a wind-aided […]