Nationals owners create a false sense of urgency to sell playoff tickets

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This seems kinda sketchy.  The Nationals, who have seen ticket sales rise as their fortunes on the field have done the same, sent out an email last night saying that (a) they were capping season ticket sales at 20,000 for 2013; and (b) if you want ticketing priority for playoff games in 2012, you have to get season tickets.

Question: are they anywhere near 20,000 in season ticket sales for next year? Likely not. They’ve sold around 12-14,000 this year and sales for next year won’t get going in earnest until the offseason. They’ll go up, sure, but it’s gonna be a while before anyone is locked out of the season tickets game for 2013.

Question: once the playoffs are over, if there is big demand for season tickets does anyone think the Nats won’t release way more seats for season tickets sales? Of course not. They will. Because businesses tend not to be in the turning away customers business.

This release seems timed to create a false sense of urgency to spur season ticket sales as the Nats approach the playoffs and excitement for the team grows.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.