Traffic Jam

That 1PM start time is gonna mess up traffic in D.C.


That 1PM start time for today’s Nats-Cards game continues to exact a heavy price from innocent victims in our nation’s capital:

Massive crowds are expected to descend on the Navy Yard area Wednesday for the first playoff game at Nationals Park, but the big problems could begin after the final out.

The game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., which means that tens of thousands of baseball fans will be flooding Metro and the roads to head home after it ends just as the evening commute gets underway.

That’s funny. I was told yesterday that tens of thousands would be unable to make it due to Major League Baseball’s draconian scheduling and employers’ Scrooge-like unwillingness to unchain workers to attend the game. Huh. In any event, thoughts and prayers to Washingtonians. Who have never had to deal with massive crowds descending on the city before.

OK, I’ll take my troll cap off for one minute and make an observation in all seriousness: as I mentioned after I went to Nats Park back in August, that Metro Station gets overrun when there are big crowds. While there will be more trains running when today’s game ends than there usually are after Nats games thanks to it being a weekday rush hour, it’s still likely to cause a mess.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.