Though Mike Piazza was hitless for the 3 game series with Washington prior to this afternoon’s finale, Gary Cohen cited the catcher’s “excellent defence” as of late. Right as if on cue, the Nationals stole four bases off the Mets in their 11-4 victory, the enigmatic Victor Zambrano (above) walking 3, hitting two batters and allowing 8 runs in 3 innings of work. The New York Times’ Lee Jenkins reports that Willie Randolph has forged a fast friendship with Herb Williams, though Randolph will have enough opportunities to learn about losing with diginity without any tips from the (current) Knicks head coach.

I don’t know how long Brad Wilkerson can keep up his Brian Roberts impersonation, but hopefully not much longer.

Since events at Shea are too depressing to detail, I’ll instead remain mesmerized by Sunday’s Norfolk/Durham box score, which shows the Tides’ Brian Daubauch going 2 for 5 with 6 RBI’s via a pair of three run HR’s in a 12-1 victory. Eric Junge (above, showing the good looks that served him so well in the Phillies organization) struck out 11 in 5 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits.

Just to prove to Don Smith that I have no bias towards DC’s new (though ultitmately doomed) franchise, much credit is due to former Expos P Sun Woo Kim (above), who struck out 5 and allowed 3 hits in 6 scoreless innings, leading the PCL’s New Orleans Zephyrs to a 7-0 win over the Round Rock Express. Along with Kim’s sharp performance, the nearly comatose Round Rock patrons have been graced with the play of such one-time major league standouts as Joe McEwing, Ben Grieve and Dave Burba over the past two weeks. While local fans cope with the realization that the Astros’ hottest prospects are probably learning their craft with the Texas League’s Corpus Christi Hooks, surely the star power of the above names and others coming in and out of Houston’s taxi squad will be enough to dazzle the paying customers. If not, there’s always the WiFi access. A trip to the ballpark just isn’t the same if you can’t check out Byron every few innings.