After a couple of hours of painstaking research through the darkest recesses of baseball history I have discovered that not only were the Nationals once known as the Montreal Expos but that they had All-Star games back then too. Feeling inspired by Matt Capps’s win in Tuesday’s All-Star contest, I attempted to compile a list of the top three and bottom three performances by Nats/Expos players of all time (Matt did not make the list). Because I only quickly checked the box scores, it’s quite possible I left some people out, so let me know where I messed up.
And now, for the list:
3. Dennis Martinez
– 1991: 2 innings, 4 hits including one home run, and 3 earned runs translates to a 13.50 ERA for Martinez in the 1991 contest. He also had a -0.234 WPA
, worst on the team that year. Oh, and he got the loss.
2. Cristian Guzman
– 2008: The Gooze went 0-3 and was thrown out trying to steal 2nd base. Lucky for him, Dan Uggla had one of the worst games of all time
meaning Cristian Guzman was only the second worst player in the National League loss.
1. Ugueth Urbina – 1998: 3 earned runs and a walk in one inning. He also got stuck with the only other Nats/Expos All-Star loss. A small blemish on an otherwise excellent season for Urbina, and the worst Nats/Expos All-Star performance of all time.
3. Pedro Martinez
– 1997: Two years before his most famous All-Star performance
, Pedro turned in the best pitching by a Nats/Expos All-Star to date. He struck out Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire, while getting Ken Griffey Jr. to line out to right in one inning of work. Sadly, nobody remembers that Pedro was ever a National/Expo.
2. Gary Carter – 1981 & 1984: Carter went deep twice in 1981, but his efforts were overshadowed by Mike Schmidt who hit a homer in the 8th that gave the National League side their winning run. In 1984, Carter was the hero; he went deep in the 2nd inning to give the NL a lead it would not relinquish. He also was awarded the MVP award for his 1984 performance.
1. Tim Raines – 1987: Raines went 3-3 with a triple and had the highest WPA (.707) on his team. He even stole a base for good measure. He was selected as the MVP for his efforts as if turning in the best Nationals/Expos performance of all time wasn’t enough.
Finally, congratulations to Matt Capps. Your win brought the all time All-Star record of Nats/Expos players to 3-2. That’s the first winning record we’ve seen around here in some time.