Without a doubt, the National League East is the toughest division to be a part of. It seems like the only time a team can gain some ground on the Phillies is when the Phillies have a day off. Last night, for example, the Marlins, Braves, and Nationals all won their games, but since the Phillies didn't play, each team moved up half a game in the standings. Not bad for my Nationals, who are now 4 1/2 games back, but they start a 3-game series with those dreaded Phillies tonight, so they can quickly lose ground. With their .500 record, if the Nationals were in any other division, they would be in second place (as opposed to being tied for third with the Braves). After the Phillies series, they go on to face the Marlins and Braves, so the standings might look very different by the end of next week. We'll see what happens...
Last night was Military Appreciation Night at the Nationals game, and they didn't disappoint. Tom Gorzelanny pitched 8 scoreless innings and Drew Storen recorded a save as the Nats shut out the world-champion Giants 2-0. They ended up winning 3 out of the 4 games in that series, which was surprising to everyone. The Nats wore their new stars-and-stripes uniforms, and military personnel were able to attend the game for free. Funny how the timing of that worked out, with the whole bin Laden thing happening just the night before.
Also last night, Andre Ethier hit in his 28th consecutive game, getting him closer to the group of 19 players who have hit in 30 consecutive games (that group includes Nationals' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, and hall-of-famers George Brett and Stan Musial). The most recent streak was that of Jimmy Rollins a few years ago at 38 games, and Rollins, of course, is a Philly (sigh!). Let's hope Ethier can continue his streak, because the Dodgers are in such an ownership mess right now that the fans need something positive to cheer for.
Speaking of ownership, the Mets are selling 49% of their ownership for $200 million. Anyone out there interested? If I paid $200 million for a team, I would want at least 51% of the shares; I would not like to be a "minority" owner. Good luck to them trying to sell for that price!
Finally, the Yankees beat the Tigers again (man, those Tigers are playing some lousy ball lately!), by a score of 2-0. I mentioni this because Derek Jeter had 2 hits, giving him a career total of 2,951. If he keeps hitting that well, he may just reach 3,000 by the all-star break. Stay tuned!