Aug 18, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT
Last night was a rare Friday night where I was at a baseball game rather than working right here on HardballTalk. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, as I finally had the chance to meet our blogger-in-chief Craig Calcaterra and take in the Mets-Nationals game. Yes, we are allowed out of the basement on occasion.
When I first moved back to the D.C./Maryland area in 2009, I used to be able to stroll around Nationals Park at my leisure and without much worry for long lines or crowded corridors. It’s not like that here anymore. Hey, everybody loves a winner, right? This has been a Redskins town for as long as I can remember and one winning season for the Nats may not change that overnight, but it’s easy to see that something pretty cool is being cultivated here.
As for last night’s game, well, it wasn’t pretty for Johan Santana. He unraveled after three hitless innings, giving up a grand slam to Michael Morse in the fourth inning and a two-run shot to Bryce Harper in the fifth. Santana has now allowed six runs or more in five straight starts. He has an ugly 8.27 ERA in 10 starts since his no-hitter and a 4.85 ERA overall.
Can we blame Santana’s prolonged funk on his unprecedented workload from the no-hitter? Tough to say, as it’s possible he would have hit a wall at some point anyway in his first season back from major shoulder surgery. But the possibility of a shutdown looms large at the moment.
The Nationals improved to a major-league best 74-45 with last night’s 6-4 win and remain four games in front of the surging Braves in the National League East. With just eight more victories, the Nationals will have their most wins in a season since moving to D.C. in 2005. I’d say they have a pretty decent chance at pulling that one off.
Your Friday box scores:
Dodgers 3, Braves 4 (11 innings)
- Joey Gallo earns Futures Game MVP honors after leading Team USA to victory 3
- Major League Baseball needs to shift the All-Star week schedule 42
- Braves suspend Dan Uggla one game for being extremely tardy on Saturday in Chicago 33
- Cliff Lee on track to return to Phillies’ rotation July 21 4
- MRI shows biceps strain, no structural damage, for Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann 2
- Settling the Score: Saturday’s results 22
- Reds hope to get Joey Votto back for the “stretch run” 8
- Jean Segura leaves Brewers following the death of his nine-month-old son 47
- Shocker: the Red Sox publicly criticize A.J. Pierzynski after cutting him (192)
- Masahiro Tanaka diagnosed with partially-torn UCL in elbow (114)
- Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues” (102)
- David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing (99)
- Woman knocked unconscious during fight between A’s and Giants fans outside AT&T Park (84)