Ok guy (that is, if anyone is still reading), I know we’re behind. I know we’ve been “bad bloggers” this season, but perhaps it’s because there’s other things we’re doing with our time. When you’re watching baseball games every night, it’s hard to concentrate on what’s going on on the TV AND to write a blog post. And then there are the non-baseball things going on in our lives. In any case, Drew and I are still making predictions, and while I haven’t gotten around to rounding up our July predictions (super quick summary: we weren’t quite optimistic enough), we’re going to put in our August predictions before the month gets too far ahead of us. And because we’re going for speed here, there won’t be pictures (at least for a little bit).
Maggie: I’m thinking at least 2. They’re having a crappy year, and showing it, but the Nats do have to face Cliff Lee. (2-1)
Maggie: We’re playing them at home (as opposed to Miami, where they historically cream us), so I’m happy enough to say (3-1)
Maggie: All my past predictions have been so cautious. They have more losses than we do wins. I’ll go with a big series win. (3-1)
Aug 10-12: @ Arizona
Maggie: For whatever reason, the Diamondbacks make me wary. I’ll go with (1-2)
Maggie: This is the right time of year for a late season Mets collapse. (3-0)
Maggie: I think it would be silly to count Atlanta out since they’re the last team other than the Nats that seems to have any spark in the NL East. I’ll say Nats win the series, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Atlanta took it instead. (2-1)
Maggie: A group of Nats fans will be visiting CBP on Saturday night, and I’ve got high hopes they leave happy. I say we sweep the series. (3-0)
Maggie: Visiting Miami has never been the Nats strong suit. Thank goodness it’s only a 2 game series! (1-1)
Maggie: The Cards are one of those more historically (well, recently historically?) dominant teams. I don’t see them fading off into the autumn light. I should end my optimistic month with a won series, but I’ll call it a split. (2-2)
Maggie: a ridiculous 22-10.
So – are we totally nuts for imagining a 22-10 run over the month of August (plus 1 day in July and 2 in September)? Let us know your predictions in the comments!
The Nationals start the second half of what seems like a beautiful season so far tonight. Back in early April, we posted our predictions for the coming season. I was fairly optimistic, and Ashley tempered my optimism. And apparently, we shouldn’t have been quite so moderate in our guesstimations. Let’s take a look at those prognostications and see just how things stand here before the Nats start up again.
Original Answer: Ryan Zimmerman
Current Leaders: Desmond at 17, LaRoche at 15 … Zimmerman 8
Oh Ryan. He had a rough first half, and things didn’t turn around until about 3 weeks ago when he got that cortisone shot. In the mean time, Desmond is having a career season, and Adam LaRoche is getting off to a faster start than usual.
Modified Answer: LaRoche – I’m not sure Desmond can keep up his furious pace through the rest of the season though I’d love to see him try.
2) Who will lead the Nats in RBI?
Original Answer: Danny Espinosa
Current Leaders: LaRoche 53, Desmond 51… Espinosa 24
This prediction was probably wishful thinking in the first place. Espi had a great first half last year – would it be silly to think he’d repeat? Maybe he’ll bounce back in the second half this time around, but it looks like it’ll be difficult to catch up with LaRoche and Desi who are running away with this so far.
Modified Answer: If we’re going with the “second place guy takes it” again, then we’ll give it to Desmond.
3) Who will lead the Nats in stolen bases?
Original Answer: Roger Bernadina
Current Leaders: Espinosa 14, Desmond 11, Harper 10 … Bernadina 8
This is a situation where the Shark’s new role as a pinch hitter has hurt him. He’s still a speedster, as evidenced by the fact that he’s only 6 bases behind Espinosa despite his fractional number of plate appearances.
Modified Answer: Gotta give this one to the Kid. Harper loves to run, and I have a feeling he’ll do a lot of base stealing in the second half.
4) Who will lead the staff in wins?
Original Answer: Jordan Zimmermann
Current Leaders: Gonzalez 12, … Zimmermann 5
Poor Jordan. We should have known from last year that the team’s bad habit of not giving him any run support would hold over. He deserves a better win-loss record (and fingers crossed tonight gives him another W in that column).
Modified Answer: Gotta go with Gio. He’s a workhorse, and he seems to love pitching in Nats Park. I have a feeling this one is locked up.
Original Answer: Ross Detweiler
Current Leaders: Detweiler 78.2, Wang 23.2, Lannan 0
This is one of the few answer’s we’ve got right so far. Yay us! With Wang’s hip acting up again, and Lannan pouting in Syracuse, we’ll stick with our original answer.
Original Answer: Roger Bernadina
Current Leaders: Harper 248, Ankiel 158, Bernadina 111
With Ankiel in a reduced role, Bernadina as pinch hitter, and Harper debuting in the big leagues WAY before anyone expected, it looks like we were wrong on this one.
Modified Answer: Harper. He’s run away with it so far, and the only way I see this changing is if the worst comes to pass.
Original Answer: June 2
Actual Answer: April 28
We were OH SO WRONG. But really…whoulda thunk? And dude is really proving himself.
8) Which minor leaguer are you most interested in keeping tabs on this season (other than Bryce Harper)?
Original Answer: Anthony Rendon or Matt Purke (btw, check out that photo!)
With Rendon essentially out for the season with a broken ankle, and Matt Purke not starting his season until late May followed quickly by a trip to the DL, it seems that both of them won’t be doing much for a while. In the mean time, we’ll be keeping an ear to the ground about Alex Meyer who did an awesome job at the MLB futures game.
9) How many all-stars will the Nats have? Who?
Our Answer: 2, Zimmerman and Strasburg
Real Answer: 3.5, Strasburg, Gonzalez, Desmond (withdrew), Harper
Let’s give ourselves partial credit. Of course Strasburg would go – that was the obvious answer. But the other 2.5 (we’ll call them that since the Nats technically had 4 all stars, but only 3 showed up) were awesome surprises. Congrats to the team on making the great leap from the last few seasons when they had someone at the All Star Game only because every team HAD to have someone at the All Star Game.
10) Total wins and what place in the division?
Original Answer: 85, 2nd
Current Answer: 49 wins, 1st in NL-East, 1st in NL, 3rd in MLB … more than halfway there!
This is amazing. The team currently stands 10 wins behind their entire win total from both 2008 and 2009. They’ve got 79 more games to win the 36 games needed to meet our prediction. That’s .456 over the second half of the season. It’d have to be a big drop-off on the current pace, but that means this team is likely to at least meet and probably exceed our expectations.
We won’t amend our prediction (just because we’re cautious), but yeah. This is very good.
Original Answer: The team really needs to stay healthy. Physically, this includes trying to avoid silly injuries early in the season that could be avoided and not overworking injury prone players. Mentally, the team needs to keep up camaraderie in the clubhouse and not get caught up in early season hype until they’ve proven themselves.
Response to Essay: DAMN STRAIGHT. How many more games could this team have won early on if they’d had Morse from the get-go? Had Storen as their closer, and didn’t have to deal with the nagging Lidge elbow-issues. What if Zimmerman had gotten his cortisone shot earlier? Or if Werth could have continued producing in his sophomore season without the devastating wrist injury? If Desmond and Harper didn’t have nagging injuries that they’re playing through (to All-Star caliber), that might be holding them back from their full potential? Who knows what would have happened…but it would have been fun to watch. Thankfully the camaraderie has been there to make up for the other failings. This is a team with clubhouse chemistry like you would not believe, and they seem to be having fun, but also being realistic about expectations. Good on them!
Ok – the second half starts now. Good luck, boys!
Ashley’s down in Atlanta for the week, so she took her brother to Turner Field to watch the Nats take out the Braves. It was a brutal summer day (official game temp was 101), but with lots of water, ice cream, and a win, the day turned out to be fun.
It’s hard to come into another stadium and be the lone fan cheering for your team. Ashley’s done it before in college, but it’s different when you grew up with the home team and have become a traitor (according to the brother). The tomahawk chop was still going strong, and the Braves uniforms haven’t changed in years. However, Ashley stuck to her guns and cheered when the rest of the crowd booed.
There were a lot of things that made this game great, but what really stuck out to me was how the overall game experience was so much better than going to a game at Nationals Park. Let’s go through a few of them:
1) Parking – it took us less than 30 minutes to get door to door. The Braves stadium is about 3 miles further away from home than Nats Park, but parking is available right at the stadium and there wasn’t crazy traffic. Yes, we went on a Sunday afternoon during a holiday week, but traffic has been so bad in DC on a weekend that we’ve turned around before. Parking was $10 in advance (plus fees) or $15 in cash.
2) Seating – the seats at Turner Field are slightly steeper, which means that you’re closer to the field. We sat in the 200s, which would be like an upper 100s seat. However, because of the way the seats were situated, I felt like we had a better angle on the field. Turner field holds about 49,000 (vs 41,000 for the Nats), but it didn’t feel like the stadium was bigger. Also, our seats were in the shade the entire game (for a 1:35 start).
3) Concessions – the food seemed of better quality (including a lot of local restaurants) and was cheaper. My brother got basic chicken tenders, which were delicious (even on a HOT day) and only cost $7. I grabbed a small cup of ice cream – $3. And my small had two scoops crammed into it. It was also Mayfield, which elevates it to a whole other level.
4) Season Ticket Holder (STH) Perks – wow, this really showed a difference in the two parks. The Braves had a lounge area set aside for STHs, and all STHs get 33% off concessions all year. It made me want to snap up a season pack.
5) Music – when visiting batters step up to the plate, the Braves organist tries to play something special for them. On Sunday we got “Send in the Clowns” for Harper, OUT spelled out in morse code for Morse, and “Never Gonna Give you Up” (by Rick Astley) for Ankiel. If you ever make it to a game in Atlanta (or are watching on TV), you can follow @bravesorganist on Twitter to give suggestions or find out what he’s thinking for our boys.
6) The Big Screen – in between innings, the music and videos definitely had a Southern flare. I had forgotten just how much I like country music in fact. The best thing they did though was show a montage of clips from a game last year where the Braves rallied back from 4 under to tie, and ultimately win, the game. “We did it before, and we can do it again…” was the basic theme, and then led into the tomahawk chop. I think that’s a great way to motivate the fans.
Overall, the game was one of the more fun, relaxed baseball outings I’ve had in a while. I didn’t realize how much Nats games actually stress me out. Dear Nationals, please take a look at this and try to find ways to make your game experience better. I felt like I was there to watch baseball, not there to make money for the owners. Even if the Braves had won, I still would have had a great day.
(Just to be fair, the one thing the Nats do better is cameras. I can bring an 8 inch lens to Nationals Park, but only a 5 inch lens to Turner Field. Hence, no awesome telephoto pics this time.)
Full album is here.
We’ve come to the end of another month, and Drew and I are about to post a new prediction post for the month of July (look for it tomorrow night before/during the first game against the Giants). In the mean time, we’ve got to review the predictions from the month of June and see how what we thought matched up against reality.
Unfortunately, the Nats had to deal with another rain out, but we’ll get to see this game played on July 21st (and Ashley and I may be there)! So we’ll just say for now that the Nats are living up to expectations. A half point each…since we don’t know if we would have been right or not.
What can we say? Psychics-R-Us. And the Nats? Kicking butts and taking names. 1 point apiece!
@ Red Sox
This was a turning point. The Nationals showed that they could really hold their own and thrive against a team that has been quite strong in the recent past. And it didn’t hurt to give a little payback for the final pre-season game in April. 0 points…not that we’re sad about being wrong.
@ Blue Jays
If you don’t believe that Boston was the turning point, look to this set of games. Are the Nats for real? That’s a clown question, bro. Another 0 points apiece, for being wrong in the best way possible.
We’d said earlier in our predictions that the Nats were going to lose sometime…it just happened to be in the form of being swept by the Bronx Bombers after sweeping two other AL East opponents. 0 points. It could be worse though.
After a tough series against the Yanks, the Nats could have folded. Instead they came back tough against the Rays to prove that they still had IT and could run with the big boys. 0 points for flipped standings.
We were both wrong. Drew was optimistic, I was pessimistic. The Nats gave us halfway in between. Not being swept against a surging team? Pretty good. 0 points awarded.
This was a close one. For the two games they lost, things were close – especially the last game. So while Drew wasn’t going to be right, it looks like I was a lot closer than I thought. 0 points for the split decision.
Gotta hand this one to Drew. The Nats seem to have the Braves’ number this season. Good stuff. 1 point to Drew!
Drew was a bit closer on this one thanks to the missing game, which gave him the correct losing record. And he wins this month overall, with a score of 2.5 points to my 1.5. We were both fairly wrong about this month…but in the best way possible!
Look back tomorrow for the first part of our July prediction post, and then keep checking back through the rest of the week when Ashley and I go through a backlog of old games we haven’t posted about!
I didn’t think I was going to make it to the Yankees series. But I had a little luck on my side – Ashley and her husband were out of town for a wedding, and my brother was their dog sitter. As part of his payment, he received baseball tickets, so I obviously begged to be his date for the game. Being a generous young man, my brother acquiesced. How nice!
Of course, after that game, maybe I didn’t want to see the Yankees. And no – it wasn’t because I was going to see Gio again. It was because the Nationals played some piss-poor baseball defense. They’d played so well in Boston and Toronto, sweeping both of those teams, but the team that showed up in Washington this past Friday was not the same team. Maybe it was the toll of playing hard to close things out for 6 games, or maybe they’d had too good a time at the ZiMS benefit the night before. Whatever the reason this past weekend was not great.
Things were decently close for 6 innings. But then after allowing 1 runner to reach at the top of the 7th, Gio was pulled in favor of the recently-returned-from-the-DL Brad Lidge. Lidge did very little of use – he walked 2, and allowed a single that put the Yanks up by 2. In 1/3 of an inning, he allowed as many earned runs as Gonzalez did in the previous 6 innings. CRAZY. Everyone sitting around me complained, and when I heard later in the weekend that Lidge had been DFA’d, I was not surprised.
I wish that this post were the kind where you know that our team won the next game, so there was no reason to be sad. But as of the writing, the Nats have not won since. They’re still more than 10 games over 500, but considering how well they’ve been doing, and how they’ve got guys back in the lineup, you’d hope they’d do better. How many times can I use the word “they” or a contraction thereof in a sentence? Apparently 4.
ANYWAYS. Nationals. Baseball. It’s June 20. It’s officially summer. Enjoy the good baseball times, be sure to drink lots of water, and put on your sunscreen, or you might end up like this lobster which tackled Teddy!
Full photo set here.
Last Friday night was a rainout. Stephen Strasburg was supposed to pitch, so for whatever reason, they decided to just shift his start to Saturday instead of skipping him in the lineup and having Gio Gonzalez pitch like he was supposed to. This was VERY exciting for me. I’ve had the “luck” this year of so far only seeing two of the Nationals – Gio and Edwin Jackson. They’re both fantastic pitchers, and I’ve really enjoyed the games I’ve been to, but there have been 4 other guys taking the mound in the first inning, and I wanted to see someone else. Seeing Strasburg would be a cherry on that cake. I called Ashley, invited her to come with me, and said I’d pick her up at 2:30, with the expectation that we’d park my car at 3 or 3:15, get to the ballpark by 3:30, and buy ourselves some $5 beers before heading up to my seats. This was not to be. Traffic along the 270-spur and the beltway delayed my arrival to Ashley’s house until 3:10. We got on US-50 (because every other route into the city was clogged) and made our way towards 395…only to be greeted with standstill traffic when we reached that on-ramp. We looked at traffic on Google Maps, listened to WTOP, and tried to make a detour through Arlington. We called my mother, and it was at that time (4:00pm) that I made the executive decision that I wasn’t going to sit in traffic for potentially hours to miss the game, and not even see Strassy pitch. We would make alternate plans.
And so, it was with a heavy heart that Ashley and I drove back towards her apartment, but along the way, Ashley had a great idea. If we couldn’t watch the game in person with cheap beer, we’d watch it on tv at a bar with GREAT beer. So that’s how we ended up at Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church. If we couldn’t be at the game, this is where we wanted to be. We enjoyed fantastic brews, amazing bartenders (who were sympathetic to our plight), and great people surrounding us at the bar who were interested in talking about the Nats. Ashley was as happy as it was possible to be in our situation.
I was not. In fact, I was so sulky, that as I drank my Diabolik Belgian Strong Ale, I kept a list of all the things that made me sad that I wasn’t at the game. Here is that list:
- Michael Morse returns (along with the return of a-ha’s Take on Me as his fantastic at bat music)
- Strasburg (we’ve already discussed this)
- Beautiful day (probably the most obnoxious part of listening to the radio broadcasters was how many times they reiterated that it was beautiful, perfect baseball weather)
- Zim in tall socks (we are suckers for this particular uniform choice)
- Harper crazy eyeblack (from the TV it looked like it was worthy of high-school Harper)
- Flores home run (I love to jump up and high five everyone around me)
- Game time 2.5 hours for a win!!! (because 1) it’s a win, and 2) it’s short enough where you can still do stuff in the evening)
So that’s our excuse for not having a gamer for the June 2 game. Do you think we made the right choice? Has anyone around here ever sat in crazy traffic for hours for a Nats game? Are there situations where I would have waited? Sure – if it were a playoff game. But it wasn’t. Speaking of the traffic – does anyone know what caused the city-wide standstill on Saturday?
PS (top photo is honor of today – the 2 year Strasiversary! Photos from that game here)
So, last week I was in Seattle for a conference for work. It was a good conference, and Seattle is a nice town. Too bad the humidity, wind and rain do not agree with my headaches. Fortunately, I was there for just long enough to experience a beautiful clear night, and even more luckily, that night coincided with the evening I’d chosen to attend a Mariners game.
First off – Safeco field is close to downtown. If the weather had been nice, I might have considered walking since it’s only about a mile away. Since it was initially a little wet out, I decided instead to take the light rail, which was super convenient. The stadium station is fairly close, and it’s easy enough to follow the crowds towards the field, which looms over you along with CenturyLink Field (the football stadium).
I walked up to a ticket counter (fact: I’m not great at negotiating, and thus avoided the scalpers), and had a nice chat with the lady at the ticket counter about where to sit for how much money I was interested in spending. I was trying to decide between the 1B/RF side, or the 3B/LF side, and the ticket lady recommended 1B/RF because I would get to see Ichiro closer up, and the first baseman (Justin Smoak) was younger and cuter than the third baseman. Little did she know that I was very interested in seeing Dustin Ackley (the second baseman) because he is a product of the UNC baseball system (and I’m a UNC grad!).
Anyways, on the recommendation of Cheryl Nichols (of District Sports Page) who is a Mariners fan alum, I decided to visit the Mariners Hall of Fame (history museum). It was really interesting to see the development of baseball in the Northwest, and to see the arrival of the Mariners in 1977 – especially since it’s the 35th anniversary season for the team! Even funnier – the team was doing a 1950s throwback night the next Saturday where they would wear jerseys for the former Seattle Rainiers.
I grabbed some sushi (on Cheryl’s recommendation) – a Seattle Roll which included some really tasty smoked salmon on top. I made my way to my seat and was quite pleased with myself. I had a whole bunch of seats empty in front of me (ideal for photography), and was close enough to the action where everything wasn’t in super-zoom-mode.
I got to enjoy a fun pre-game – the Mariners moose was very energetic and ran around the field with great enthusiasm. A pre-game contest challenged a family to collect 30 jerseys in 5 minutes that were scattered across the outfield and to put them on the youngest family member a boy of about 7. They managed to collect…18 (I think?), which meant they all won free t-shirts. If all 30 jerseys had been worn, everyone in the stadium would have been entitled to 10% off jerseys in the team store. This is a promotion I could get behind! On the downside, since the Mariners are playing in a stadium that opened in 1999, they are dealing with late 90s display technology, and their video screen is quite small. It makes me appreciate the abilities of NatsHD and the video and graphics it can display.
As for the game – I got lucky again (not just with the weather!). Considering the fact that the Rangers had the best record in baseball, and that they had the highly coveted Yu Darvish pitching, things were remarkably lopsided in Seattle’s favor. Ichiro really started things off by cracking out a triple. It would not be his only appearance on base, and I got the feeling that Ichiro really wanted to prove that he was the star from Japan to all his visiting fans, and not the recently imported pitcher.
And Ichiro wasn’t the only one playing well. Pitching for the Mariners was “King” Felix Hernandez was pitching and he was SPECTACULAR in 8 innings of play. 7 strikeouts with just 2 walks. He was well deserving of the enthusiastic fan base that cheered loudly for him from the left field corner. They were perfectly matched in bright yellow. They had the requisite large cardboard heads of players/people that appear at every sports game in recent history. Every time he got to 2 strikes, they pulled out their K-cards and called for the K.
I really wish I could share more pictures. Mariners baseball was a lot of fun, and being a National League fan, it was neat to not have a dog in the fight. I rooted for the home team because it seemed more polite. I chatted with the local fans who sat next to me about their team and what I should know, and since I was wearing my DC hat, they asked about the Nationals, who are a very hot topic, even on the West Coast.
Kids – get out to ball parks across the country. The Nats may be our team, but this is our game, and it’s fun to see how it’s played in different regions and to experience all the flavors that our national past-time can produce.
Full album here.
Ah, the Battle of the Beltway. There is nothing like a manufactured rivalry between regional teams to get your hackles up. At least, that’s how things were in the past. Both teams were abysmal on a continual basis, which made any kind of rivalry merely a sad competition between who would be the most pathetic that week. But this year, things were different. Both the Os and the Nats were sitting at the tops of their respective divisions (and near the tops of their leagues) when they met this year. A stunning occurrence. What had once been an opportunity for MASN to show the baseball game on two networks was actually meaningful!
Things did not start out well for the Nats. Edwin Jackson pitched a great game, but in the first inning, he walked Xavier Avery, allowed Nick Markakis to double (sending Avery to third), and when Adam Jones singled the Orioles scored, putting them up by 1.
Things stayed pretty quiet for a while – the score was 0-1 until the bottom of the sixth when Ian Desmond sent a homer over the left field wall to cheer up the Nats fans. This run gave us all a chance to breathe and hope that the game would turn out well for the Nationals.
But by the time we reached the bottom of the 9th, nothing more had happened. And this is not to blame the pitching. Jake Arrietta lasted 7 innings for the Orioles, and Edwin Jackson went 8 for the Nationals. Since I haven’t followed the Orioles other than seeing final scores, I can only assume that they have the same occasional droughts in offense that the Nationals do. Because it wasn’t until the 11th inning that Nick Markakis hit a homer to break the stalemate.
Since it was getting late at that point, I started moving towards the exit, watching the game as I moved towards the exit. It was at that point that I encountered either the most digusting or most obnoxious Orioles fan I have ever encountered. At the top of the 11th, with his team in the lead, he yelled loudly, “Don’t **** this up idiots!” Now, that’s not so bad, but when the Orioles got two outs on a double play, he decided that was the moment to grind against the railing with such force that people at the far ends could feel it shaking. I continued to cheer on the team as they put two men on base (yay Bernadina and Zimmerman), but then choked with LaRoche at the bat.
And that’s where we see the theme – there weren’t a lot of innings where players got on base, but when they did, they were usually stranded at the end of the inning. This is a problem. The Nationals need to work on their offense like you wouldn’t believe. Occasionally they get outbursts like they showed on the Sunday night game against the Orioles (their only win of this Beltway series), the May 5 game against the Phillies and the May 14 game against the Padres, but more often than not it’s heart attack time until the 8th or 9th inning. If the Nats want to be the team to watch for the rest of the season, they need to break out on a more regular basis.
While the Nats are out of town, I’m going to share a special American League Baseball experience that I had later in the week, and then we’ll close out the month with an evaluation of the May Predictions, and with any luck, I can convince Drew to do a June prediction post too!
Full album here.
We’ll start off this post with an apology: there are posts to be posted, and we haven’t posted them. Life gets in the way. In this case, I have been the one who should have been posting, and I’m currently out of town (and yet, writing this), but the hope is that being out of town may also give you some interesting stuff to read. Curious? Look for a post later in the week that will explain things. For now, we’ll go back 5 days to the Nats’ first game against the Pirates on Wednesday. As a note – I was at the game with my brother and due to a decision to keep score – all photos are taken by him (using my camera).
And there’s nothing like watching the offense work together when things are going well. We got to witness Bryce Harper hustle out his first MLB triple, and then watch as Ryan Zimmerman sacrificed to bring him home and give the Nats the early lead (spoiler alert: they never lost it). It’s good to see the Face of the Franchise working with the Young Gun to make big things happen.
We got to see home runs. LOTS of home runs. There was Ian Desmond leading off the third with a solo shot. And then in the sixth, we got to watch Adam LaRoche and Xavier Nady hit back-to-back bombs.
Later in the game, with the bases loaded, LaRoche would hit a 3-RBI double to earn his 1000th major league hit. Great stuff.
And while the Pirates kept up and were within 1 run for most of the game, everyone on the team played their part to close things out for a curly-W.
On a personal note – the fact that it was Military Appreciation night was special for me. In addition to my brother, my younger sister joined us for the game. She’s been in the Navy for 5 years now, and loved being able to come see her hometown Nats for free (and having an excuse to wear the camo Nats cap)! Spending a perfect night for baseball with my siblings is about as nice a thing as anyone could ask for.
Full photo set from this game can be found here.
And thanks to my bro for playing Jimmy Olsen to my Lois Lane.
This past weekend was about Natitude. What is Natitude? Well, let’s do a photo essay as a demonstration of what it is based on who has it. Before the game started, warming up in right field, Jayson Werth was confronted with a crowd of Phillies fans who had bought tickets near him with the sole intent of taunting him during the game. What was his response? A tip of the cap. That’s Natitude. Follow that up with a three-run bomb in the bottom of the fifth. Extra Natitude.
Who else? Let’s go with the player of the player of the game – Gio Gonzalez. Not only did he pitch seven solid innings, he had a double in the fifth and scored on Jayson Werth’s home run. The best part is seeing Gio smile at his offensive success. Good stuff.
Natitude also means an offensive bonanza. Not only did we get the Werth homer, but we got one from Desmond…
And another from Chad Tracy. The long ball executed multiple times against a hated division rival is SERIOUS Natitude. So much so that it meant that it got the Nats a 7-1 win. Well done!
And it wasn’t just the players. This game was on Cinco de Mayo. In Section 135, this fan in the custom sombrero (a party-store spray-paint job) showed some serious Natitude in leading the crowd with their cheers.
Full face paint means you’re full of Natitude.
And even the kids have the spirit. And just because the official Natitude Weekend is over, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep packing the park as fans and showing our support for this team. We’ll see you back at the park next week!
Full album here.