Monday night was the first of my four games this week at Nationals Park, and I was joined by Paul and two other friends–Rachel and Sarah. Paul and I went to high school with Rachel, and Sarah goes to Xavier–some college in Cincinnati that Paul unfortunately chose to attend as well. Whatever.
Rachel took the panorama above. Don’t mind the folks in the aisle who were discombobulated by the picture.
We met up at the Newseum (the museum of news, go figure) where there is a brand new exhibit commemorating the 10 years of Nationals baseball in Washington, D.C. The exhibit was small, but well put together. There’s memorabilia from Opening Day 2005, Ryan Zimmerman’s walk off to christen Nationals Park, and even Max Scherzer’s no hitter from earlier this season. Paul had a good time, and was that guy who read everything.
That’s Sarah with me on the right, we’re on the top of the Newseum, which is actually a phenomenal picture spot when the Capital is not under construction.
A quick metro jaunt got us to Nats Park around 5:40, just as the Diamonbacks were finishing up batting practice. Soon after we settled in at the Red Porch, an Arizona rightly launched a high fly ball towards us, that I ranged to my right just enough to make a catch. It was actually the first BP homer I’ve caught this year because I haven’t attended much batting practice. A short time later, another batter hit a shot towards the center field end of the red seats that landed untouched in the back row. After scurrying over, I was the closest to the ball. There was a small kid sitting in the restaurant table right above the seat where it landed, so I handed the ball to him after I picked it up. Nothing else really came our way during BP, so that was that.
Doug Fister took the mound for the Nationals, squaring off against rookie Zack Godley. The first three innings quickly vanished, and then the Diamondbacks erupted. They shot three home runs off Fister, who lasted six innings and gave up five earned runs.
Washington simply could not get their bats going, and suffered at the hands of Godley, who is now 3-0 on the season with a 1.50 ERA. Jonathan Paplebon came into the game to pitch the top of the ninth for the Nats, who were down 5-0. He promptly gave up Arizona’s fourth dinger of the night–a solo shot into the left field seats.
Fans were already in the midst of an exodus when the final dagger was blasted, and the stadium ended up only a third as full as it was earlier in the evening.
I was really feeling a seven run comeback as the Nats took to the dish in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Zimmerman showed a flash of his former self as he blasted a long, one-out solo home run deep into the left field seats, but there was still a ways to go. After singles by Clint Robinson and Ian Desmond, Wilson Ramos hit an RBI single to center field, cutting the deficit to four. Michael A Taylor followed up with a two-run double down the left field line to make it a 6-4 game.
Jayson Werth came in to pinch hit, but couldn’t achieve heroism and grounded out. Next, Yunel Escobar flew out to end the game.
Meanwhile, the Marlins were hosting the Mets in Miami. New York swept Washington over the weekend, and the two clubs entered Monday in a virtual tie for first place in the NL East. With the Nats’ loss and the Mets’ win in a slaughter of the Fish, the Mets now have a one game lead in the division.
That’s about all I’ve got. It’s Beanstalks Baseball tomorrow night. There will be much more BP snagging, hopefully, and I also hope to see a better score at the end of the night.