Game: #154 (of 162) – Nationals vs. Braves
Starting Pitchers: Jordan Zimermann vs. Tim Hudson
Final Score: Nationals: 8, Braves: 3
Nats New Record: 66-88
Play of the Game: Hands down, Willie Harris’ in-the-park homer in the 7th. Harris hit a long ball to center field and the Braves’ center fielder hit the wall and lost it. The crowd in the park (and on Twitter) went wild!
Player of the Game: Adam Dunn, for his 2 home runs and 5 RBIs. As my cousin pointed out, Dunn often bats the extremes – either a home run or a strike out. For this game he was on fire and the crowd loved it. Chants of “Sign Adam Dunn” could be heard around the stadium after these plays.
Favorite Non-game Moment: We got to the stadium as it opened, so we grabbed some $5 beers and went down to center field to watch the Nats warm up. Those of you who might not get to the games so early may not know that only the outfield sections are open while the Nats are on the field. However, the center field seats make a great place to watch, especially because there are so many players in the outfield shagging balls. We were behind several outfielders and pitchers, and it seemed like they were having fun. After the Nats went in, we moved to the seats directly behind the visitor’s dugout and watched the Braves warm up for a while. I highly advise everyone to make the effort to get to the stadium early at least once. It’s my favorite part of the game – everyone is relaxed, you can get really close to the field, and it’s not crowded.
Who was there: Ashley and her brother
Our Record: Ashley – 11-10
Where did we sit: We grabbed grandstand tickets, but ended up hanging out in Section 136 (Richard, where were you?!) because I love the camera angles there.
What did we eat: I tried the gluten free tamale pie. Despite the bland appearance, it was really spicy and flavorful. The pie is actually a commercial product – Amy’s – that comes in the box and the vendor microwaves it for you.
President’s Race: After a close start, Abe and George bumped into each other (taking each other out?) and fell down. Teddy stopped to help and ended up on the ground himself. Tom ran to the finish line unopposed…
Other Observations: Going into this game, I was conflicted about who I was cheering for. I had family in town rooting for the Braves, and as I’ve mentioned before, I was a Braves fan for 25 years before moving to Virginia. The Braves are still the team I root for when they’re not playing the Nats. So the question remained: was I a Nats fan or a Braves fan who is currently cheering for the Nats out of convenience? I am happy to report that before batting practice was over, I knew the answer. I had a great time watching the Nats – I knew all of their names, recognized their faces, and loved watching them interact in a non-game setting. When they went in and the Braves came out, I lost interest. Yes, it was still cool to watch them warm up, but I didn’t feel the same spark. Go Nats!
This game ranks in my top 5 for the season. For the most part, the Nats played really well and there were some spectacular plays. The weather was nice (once it cooled down!), and the crowd was really into the game. Here are a few pictures – most of them are batting practice because I was having too much fun watching the game to get many good ones!
(the rest of the album from this game can be seen here)