June 8, 2010: Washington Nationals vs Pittsburgh Pirates (Strasburg’s Debut)

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Strasburg's first pitch

Game: #059 – Nationals vs. Pirates
Starting Pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (#37, 1-0, 2.57) vs. Jeff Karstens (#27, 1-2, 5.20)
Final Score: Nationals: 5, Pirates: 2
Nats New Record: 28-31
Plays of the Game: The Home-run derby that this game became.  Yes, Strasburg made his debut, but Zimmerman, Dunn and Willingham all proved that they will not be forgotten.
Player of the Game: Stephen Strasburg – who else?  Dominated this game from beginning to the end of the 7th inning.  Gave up a home-run but didn’t get flustered.  14 strikeouts and 0 walks.  As Maggie tweeted last night, it’s like asking for a pony for Christmas, and getting a baby unicorn.
Favorite Non-baseball Moment: Strassy gets two shaving cream pies to the face in quick succession, followed by a crowning with the silver Elvis wig.
Who was there: Ashley, Maggie, Maggie’s Dad, and 40,000+ of their closest friends.
Our Records: Ashley – 5-5; Maggie – 4-7, Maggie’s Dad – 3-3
Where did we sit: Ashley was quick on the draw at ticket time and got us three seats in Section 108, Row X (closer to the field than you would think).  A good view, good access to concessions and restrooms, and a couple of balls came to our general area (a few fouls, and the Hammer homer), which could prove interesting in the future.
What did we eat: Maggie and her dad started off with hot dogs that were so ordinary (but good!), that they forgot to photograph them.  Ashley had a much more photogenic and value-oriented meal – the Shrimp Po Boy from the Triple Play Grill.  This was definitely $9 worth of food, but like many of the other sandwiches at Nats park, the bun fell apart rather quickly (like many of the other buns with Nats park sandwiches).  She ended up eating the (heavily battered) shrimp by themselves without the bread.  During the bottom of the sixth inning (yes – we missed Dunn’s homer, we’re still sad about that), Ashley and Maggie ventured to the Nutty Bavarian to get cinnamon roasted nuts and a churro for Maggie’s Dad.  Unfortunately Ashley got the last bag of pecans (she’s very sorry!) and Maggie had to settle for the cashews, which were still delicious.
President’s Race: It was like the 3rd field gate exploded with the Racing Presidents, Racing Pierogies, Non-racing Sausages, and the two random guys on Segways (who were they, anyway?). Quite the event. Still sad that Teddy didn’t win (Tom took the checkered flag just ahead of our beloved Rough Rider), but we honestly think we would have exploded from Nats awesomeness if that had happened.

Other Observations:

– Tuesday, June 8 will probably go down as the most perfect night of baseball that Ashley or Maggie (or Maggie’s Dad) will ever see.  It was so perfect, and in ways we didn’t expect. The metro was crowded, but not unreasonably so, and the traffic driving into the city was heavy, but again – not unreasonably so. There weren’t huge lines at Will Call or the Ticket lines. There weren’t huge lines to get food/beer (and what lines there were seemed to move quickly… which we chalk up to having better trained servers and more places open). The weather was beautiful – not too hot, not too cold, low humidity, and no bugs. The stands were full of people cheering for our team. People were actually enjoying the game, and paying attention – yelling at each other to stand when the count got to two strikes. There 100mph fastballs, double plays, and homeruns! It was everything that was good about baseball distilled into 2.5 hours.
– Ashley met Ken Burns (who threw the first pitch), and thought that was pretty neat. She didn’t get a chance to really talk to him because they were moving the line along, but he was really nice and friendly.  Ken also told Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog that Strasburg’s start was “unbelievable”.

Ken Burns ceremonial pitch

President's Race

Spotlight on Strasburg

Pie and Wig




(a VERY full album from this game can be seen here)
(LOTS more videos from other games can be seen here)

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One Response to “June 8, 2010: Washington Nationals vs Pittsburgh Pirates (Strasburg’s Debut)”

  1. Post-season Roundup: Best and Worst Games, plus some Miscellany « First Ladies of Baseball Says:

    […] consensus best game was the Strasburg debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 8.  A beautiful night, a spectacular debut, fantastic […]

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