- The Washington Times - Monday, May 28, 2007

Q: Why does Nook Logan persist on trying to bat from the left side? It occurs to me that with his average so much higher from the right, he would have a greater probability of reaching first by batting right. I do not buy this argument that he is closer to first from the left. With his speed, it should not matter. It certainly does not seem to bother Ryan Zimmerman when he beats out infield hits from the right side. If I have a better chance of getting on base by batting right, why would I bat left? It makes no sense. Michael, Westport, Conn.

A: It’s a valid question, given Logan’s colossal struggles from the left side of the plate during his career (.252 vs. right-handed pitchers, .314 vs. left-handers). Logan clearly has a better stroke from the right side. But the Nationals have been reluctant to ask Nook to make the change, and he believes he can still do it from the left side (particularly when he wants to bunt). And his recent performance actually suggests he might be starting to get it. Logan is hitting a surprising .292 from the left side of the plate this season and only .261 from the right side. Aberration or sign of change? Too early to tell.

Q: Why couldn’t Saturday night’s game (played in a downpour) have just been suspended with two outs in the top of the ninth and resumed Sunday afternoon? I thought baseball changed the rules this year to allow for situations like that. Neal, Gaithersburg

A: Baseball did change its suspended game rule before the season, but Saturday night’s game didn’t qualify. Rule 4.12 (a) now stipulates that a game can be suspended and resumed on a later date if the minimum 4 innings have been played and the score is tied or the visiting team took the lead in the top of the inning. Because the Nationals were losing 8-6 when it started pouring at Busch Stadium, the umpires had to call for the tarp, then either resume play that night or end the game right there.

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