After many years of wanting to, I finally followed the Washington Nationals to Pittsburgh for their annual series against the Pirates in beautiful PNC Park. I made it to the Saturday game. The Racing Presidents were there too for the Great Pierogie Race (Let Teddy Win).
The series went down just as Sam predicted it would — Pirates won Friday night, Nats won the last two. Raise the curly W!
Ross Detwiler fell behind early — Andrew McCutchen homered because that’s what he does. The Nats struck out a lot. Ryan Zimmerman earned the golden sombrero. Bucs 3 Nats 1. A.J. Burnett is a good pitcher, as long as he isn’t with the New York Yankees.
PITTSBURGH — For the first time since Opening Day, Stephen Strasburg got through the first inning with out giving up a run! He gave up two 2-run homers though, one after a bad jump in right field by Tyler Moore put a runner on who should have been an out. Strasburg made it through 7 innings with 8 strikeouts though. He hit two batters, but Pittsburgh’s pitchers hit 3 Nats. The final plunking put the winning run on. Zimmerman, fresh off the DL due to his hamstring took a pitch in the leg. Then, after Adam LaRoche, who isn’t hitting his weight, walked (so many boos from Pittsburgh fans) for the third time they pulled off an improbable double-steal with no throw. Zimmerman then scored on Moore’s sacrifice fly to win the game. The Nats were 1-10 RISP. They left 11 runners on base. The Pirates, who issued 6 walks and hit 3 batters, just wanted to give the game away more.
Davey Johnson was awarded the Chuck Tanner Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award too.
I’ll have a lot to say about my first visit to PNC Park soon. It is transcendent.
I was driving back from Pittsburgh, so I barely got to listen to the game. Gio Gonzalez got out of a first inning jam. Danny Espinosa and Moore both homered, the latter off the back of a inattentive spectator:
A 6-2, series clinching win. Bryce Harper got ejected too for arguing balls and strikes in the 1st inning. John Hirshbeck was trying to make himself the story I’ve heard.
The Nats are now 17-15, two games back of the Atlanta Braves.