When you think about it, the Miami Marlins (previously Florida) and Colorado Rockies have been giving D.C. trouble for over 20 years now. Back in 1991, D.C. fell short to South Florida and Denver in the ’93 expansion derby. If I recall correctly, Denver had the promise of a new sales-tax funded ballpark and South Florida had Blockbuster Video/Waste Management chairman Wayne Huizenga (and his 50% ownership of Joe Robbie Stadium) behind them while D.C. had, um RFK Stadium. Baseball finally returned to Washington in 2005, but the results against the two expansion teams that won in ’93 haven’t been pretty.
YEAR: W-L Win % 2011: 7-11 .389 2010: 5-13 .278 2009: 6-12 .333 2008: 3-14 .176 2007: 10-8 .556 2006: 7-11 .389 2005: 9-9 .500
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The Marlins played in a stadium (that changed names seemingly bi-annually) that was perhaps the least pleasant weather wise in the NL. I don’t know that the South Florida humidity made much difference though, there were some terrible Nats teams over the years and that doesn’t account for home losses.
The Marlins expansion partner, the Rockies have also had a strong record against the Nats:
YEAR: W-L Win % 2011: 3-4 .429 2010: 3-5 .375 2009: 0-6 .000 2008: 3-4 .429 2007: 3-4 .429 2006: 0-8 .000 2005: 4-2 .667
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The Rockies play in the mile high setting of Denver, though that doesn’t account for home losses either. Two really bad seasons against the Rockies brings the Nats overall record down, but they only took the season-series against the Rockies once, in 2005.
I wasn’t thrilled when I learned the Nats would have the All-Star break bookended by this troublesome teams. They managed only one win against the Rockies (who are in last place in the NL West) in the series before the break after splitting a four game series at Coors Field earlier. The Nats finished the season series 3-4. Against the Marlins, the Nats just split a series which is an improvement against the Fish. Washington is just a game behind in the season series with Miami, so things may be getting better. Perhaps the change of venue and “name” have helped the Nats. But a 4-5 record doesn’t inspire confidence just yet, even if seven of those games were in Miami.
The Nats are now 2½ up on the Atlanta Braves, who picked up two games this week in the NL East. Those historical worries weren’t unfounded.
Tonight, Ross Detwiler faces Jon Niese of the New York Mets in Nationals Park. The Mets are starting to fall off a bit and this series is a chance to start putting them away.