Category Archives: I Was There

Sporting events I attended

nationals-park-opening-day-2015

Always October? Nats have good pitching, poor fielding and only Bryce Harper hitting in Opening Day loss

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When we last saw the Washington Nationals in meaningful action, it was last year’s NLDS. The story was simple — the pitching was good. The fielding was not and Bryce Harper was the only player hitting. The story remained the same in yesterday’s Opening Day loss to the New York Mets.

Max Scherzer started the game with a strike, but walked the first batter. However, he did not allow a hit until two outs in the sixth. Curtis Granderson had walked and SS Ian Desmond dropped a short fly that was rightfully 2B Dan Uggla’s ball. Lucas Duda singled them home to give the Mets and insurmountable 2-1 lead.

Another Desmond error, this time a short-hopped throw to first base that we hope Ryan Zimmerman will learn to get cost Nats another run. Is there anything that says April in Washington more than cherry blossoms, tourists, pollen and Ian DE6MOND making errors?

Scherzer finished with eight strikeouts, zero earned runs and a big L next to his name. His opposite number, Bartolo Colon, also struck out eight, giving up only a hit to Michael A. Taylor and a homer and single to Harper. Jerry Blevins, the former Nat, struck got Harper out and then was promptly removed. The Mets have already figured out Blevins is a LOOGY, something Matt Williams never did.

I wasn’t surprised Colon beat the Nats, I mentioned that likelihood in the Q&A with Eric McErlain, but I was surprised that Colon was hitting 92 on the radar gun.

OTHER NOTES FROM THE PARK

First off, a big thanks to Joe Riley for the ticket. We were in 309 which gave a good view of the fire from Capitol Heights which was behind the Blue Smoke sign. Joe was on top of it when he said “great product placement” or something to that effect.

The weather was absolutely perfect and we were seated in the shade. Best Opening Day weather ever.

Remember WGAY? The “easy listening” station, gone from D.C. airways since the 1990s? Apparently it’s been resurrected as the in-stadium music during the opposition batting practice. The idea is that it mellows out the visitors bats. Welp, the Mets had five hits and one error while the Nats had 3 hits and 2 errors. Let’s blame that for the loss, shall we? And Desmond.

On the bright side, the piped in music seemed a little less during the actual game.

#signduanedargin Nine year-old Duane Dargin of the Washington Nationals Dream Academy threw out the best first pitch (DC Sports Bog, The Post) I’ve ever seen for the commissioner Rob Manfred. Sign him now!

Speaking of Manfred, the worst kept secret in MLB was confirmed with D.C. getting the 2018 All-Star game. I’d rather it have been Nats TV rights, but this is okay. Ted Lerner really wanted it (The Post), having attended the 1937 edition at Griffith Stadium.

We had an asynchronous national anthem and fighter jet flyover. #foreshadowing

It must be time for a rubber chicken sacrifice!

The Nats are now on a 161-1 pace.

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That time Rafael Soriano ruined my son’s first Nats game

Good turnout
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Nationals were on a five game winning streak going into yesterday’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants. Dan Haren continued his solid pitching, giving up a mere solo home run over six innings. The Nats scored 3 runs off of Ryan Vogelsong in the 3rd, but only managed 2 hits after ending Vogelsong’s day in the 4th. Fernando Abad and Tyler Clippard kept the 7th and 8th scoreless. Then Rafael Soriano came in, gave up a hit and a walk. Then it got really ugly.

With two outs and a full count, PH Hector Sanchez pulled the ball towards the foul pole, but not far enough for DC fans. Sanchez hit his fourth career homer in 297 at bats over three seasons. Soriano blew the save and cost the Nats a six-game winning streak, series sweep and a most importantly, a win in my son’s first ever game.

Now, the blame isn’t all on Soriano, outgoing manager Davey Johnson put him for the third day in a row ahead of a seemingly important series in Atlanta tonight. Still, Soriano’s the goat here because he walked Roger Kieschnick, a rookie hitting .250 too.

Then again, Haren did strand six runners in his first two at-bats…

I’d be more upset if the playoffs were still a factor and if it weren’t such a perfect day for baseball and time spent with my family. My son, who followed the lead of the Nats bats and napped for the 6th through 8th innings, was disappointed to see the Giants pull ahead after he woke up. I consoled him with the knowledge that the first time I went to a baseball game, my team lost (Royals over Yankees on Old Timers Day) and at my first Nats game they lost too (Opening Day 2005 in Philadelphia). However, if he decides not to become a baseball fan, I’ll forever blame Soriano.

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