Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nats hit All-Star break at .500

US Presswire photo
Rick Ankiel's homer helped lead the Nationals to a 2-0 win over the Rockies.
Their $126 million right fielder has a broken swing. Their franchise third baseman has played only 34 games. Their .235 team batting average is better than just three teams. And their manager quit amid a hot streak.

Yet, somehow, some way, the Nationals enter the All-Star break with a .500 record following their 2-0 win over the Rockies today at Nationals Park.

The Nationals, who broke a three-game losing streak, are 46-46, the best mark at the break since their inaugural season in Washington.

"Ending the first half on a good note was really key," closer Drew Storen said after his 23rd save. "[At] .500 is not where we want to end up, but it's a big step forward from where we were at the beginning of the year. It's a stepping stone."

Read Ryan O'Halloran's full report on


JaneB said...

Thanks Ryan!

What a lovely lovely headline. And an even lovelier circumstance behind the headline.


AndesAngle said...

They did it with pitching! I hope the second half pitching continues to be great. Bring on the hitting. What is going on there? I am hoping for a second half surge. I think we have a much better team this year.

Gonat said...

I liked how the Nats made today a 2 run win. It would be nice if this is a new trend.

The 4 days off will be great for the relievers (except for All Star Clip) to get rest and the walking wounded players like Desi, Nix, and Werth and a recovering Zim.

While so many give Desi a hard time, this guy has been playing hobbled for over a month and never complains.

If Werth finds some way of getting on track, I think he will be the key to the 2nd half as he has been Mr. Un-Clutch so far.

Dave said...

I know .500 is the definition of "in the middle." But finishing the pre-All-Star part of the season at .500 feels huge.

That was a great game to see live. I was very upset to see that MASN seemed to preempt the replay of today's Nats game by showing ESPNews. Do they not know I can switch, like, four channels downward on my Verizion FiOS box and see ESPNews?

Where the heck's today's game, MASN? I want to see JZ's pitching performance from the centerfield camera. (Yes, masnstinks, MASN really does stink.)

carolync said...

I'm as thrilled with the team's record as anyone else but the hitting has to improve. My favorite part of baseball is good situational hitting, and we don't have much of that right now.

I thought we learned our lesson with LaRoche. If Desmond is so injured that it's ruined his hitting, then he needs to sit until his leg heals. He hasn't had an RBI at least since mid-June and his BB/K ratio is alarmingly bad. Cora plays short well enough.

We may have been snubbed for the ASG, but NL Rookie of the Year is going to be a Nat.

We have a lot to look forward to.

m20832 said...

Where the heck's today's game, MASN? I want to see JZ's pitching performance from the centerfield camera. (Yes, masnstinks, MASN really does stink.)

If you have Fios, it was on ch501. And JZimm was just masterfull!

natsfan1a said...

My FIOS guide had it airing again at 10:30 this a.m. (If memory serves, it was MASN 1.)

LobsterMania said...

I calculated my win percentage in the games I've attended through yesterday (14 in all). The tally is .714. Can I be a candidate for Most Valuable Fan? Or maybe it's still a factor of our Rally Lobster, which accompanies us to the games?

Anonymous said...

Nats at 50 at the halfway point and almost 30,000 making it to Friday and Saturday night games...boy this team has come a long way.

Mark - I love reading all your posts with insightful analysis of the Nationals' progress but I'm wondering when you are going to start commenting on the Nationals' game-day experience. The new restaurants in left field are nice improvement but I've been to about 10 baseball stadiums and Nats park would probably rank last on a number of fronts. Esthetics (which are improving) aside:

1. There are 8 ticket machines at the front gates. This yielded about a 30 min delay getting into the stadium. There are more machines at many movie theaters. What's going to happen when this team finally makes the playoffs? The centerfield entrance is a frustrating bottleneck and a security issue.

2. Outside of right field--this stadium really lacks food options. There are only a few unique vendors. Where is the variety?

3. Oh...the LINES! No matter what inning I got up, it was impossible to find a single line that would cost me less than an inning (I walked around the entire stadium Saturday night). Nats stadium needs more vendors...more competition.

4. Maybe more competition will help...but at the very least can we get some better trained vendors? I walked up to a stall in the first inning and had to wait 5 mins for a hot dog after ordering it (half the time of my experience at RFK). The vendors never seem to be in any hurry and are a serious drag on the game experience. They are also loosing revenue because they can't move quick enough. I bet the overpriced Yankee stadium handles customers in about 50% less time/per customer. Somebody should do the analysis.

JaneB said...

Anon at 1:00 -- the sausage/brauts vendor in the cart around 132 moves fast, and has a good product. I am trying to stick to one of those a month, so I don't gain as much baseball weight as I did last year. The fun sandwich place at 115 takes FOREVER but if you get the food before the game, it's not awful. I've noticed that they are starting to sell hot dogs in the seats, like a grown up baseball stadium does. So maybe there is that option. For me, I just get the food before I hit the seat. Not always possible for everyone, I know.

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