Turner Field and its ace
Somebody yesterday, whose name I will insert later (via edit) if he/she wants credit, said that attending a baseball game at Turner Field felt like "spending a night inside Stan Kasten's brain." Kasten, as you'll know, spent more than 15 years as Atlanta's team president, and it's no coincidence that Turner Field -- at least from my perspective -- best represents the model that Nats Park strives to become.
Like in Washington, Atlanta starts its Friday games half an hour later. (Do you like that?) They have fireworks after the Friday night games. Turner Field's outfield is lined with overhanging bars -- nooks with railings to watch the action, beer in hand, like royalty overlooking his kingdom. Sound familiar?
Nats Park, though, still doesn't have any equivalent to Tim Hudson, the Braves pitcher who yesterday upped his record to 7-1 all time against Washington. (He also had a win against Montreal, so he's 8-1 against the franchise.) Just out of curiosity, I wanted to check out the pitchers in MLB with the best success against the Nats. (And for this search, I've sorted through records starting in 2005; thus, these are simply numbers against Washington. No Expos-warped figures here.)
By almost every measure, no pitcher in baseball has caused Washington more trouble than Hudson, who has a 1.59 career ERA against the Nats in 11 starts.
* Only three pitchers have more than five wins against Washington all time, and all of them have pitched (at times) for the Braves. Hudson is 7-1. John Smoltz is 7-5. Tom Glavine is 6-5.
* Eight pitchers with at least three decisions have never lost to Washington. They are: Josh Beckett (3-0, 2.10); Heath Bell (3-0, 2.31); Doug Brocail (3-0, 1.59); Roy Halladay (3-0, 2.61); Derek Loww (4-0, 3.24); Jamie Moyer (3-0, 2.31); Vincete Padilla (3-0, 2.37) and Anibal Sanchez (3-0, 3.28)
* Among those with at least six decisions, the only other pitcher who comes close to equaling Hudson's winning percentage is Florida's Ricky Nolasco (5-1, 3.53 ERA).
* One other note: I've put in a call to the Elias Sports Bureau, hoping to learn some numbers about teams that carry four catchers. If I hear back, I'll let you know. I think the general rule is that if Elias doesn't keep track of such matters, nobody does.
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