July 2, 2010: Washington Nationals vs New York Mets


Maggie is skeptical

Game: #081 (the halfway mark!) – Nationals vs. Mets
Starting Pitchers: Luis Atilano, (#56, 6-5, 4.72) vs. Niese, (#49, 6-1, 3.60)
Final Score: Nationals: 3, Mets: 5
Nats New Record: 35-46
Play and Player of the Game: Josh Willingham makes the loss easier to swallow when he hits a dinger.  Hammer-time!
Favorite Non-baseball Moment: Maggie wins a pre-game NatsHD trivia contest! (see below)
Who was there: Ashley, Maggie, and Maggie’s brother Ben
Our Records: Ashley – 5-6; Maggie – 5-8; Ben – X-Y+1
Where did we sit: Ashley bought a grandstand seat for $5, with no intention of ever sitting in it (and she didn’t).  Maggie and Ben were in their regular season seats of section 311.  Ashley found an empty seat to occupy just across the aisle in 310.  However, this seat was one row down from Maggie and Ben, and Ashley said that her row (B) was not as good for photography, because the plexiglass rail gets in the way.
What did we eat: Before the game, Maggie and Ashley had deemed THIS the game of the mega-pretzel.  They purchased $5 beers during happy hour, then headed over to the Red Loft to acquire a pretzel.  It was bigger and heavier than you would expect.  We found a spot to sit and eat, and discovered a few things.  1) It’s really crunchy (almost hard) on the outside.  2) Said outside is really really salty, and slick from some kind of grease meant to keep salt on the pretzel.  3) There are three sauces provided, and none of them really says, “Pretzel”.  There is a whipped cream, which is delicious (and the best of the bunch), but odd to eat with a savory pretzel.  Next best is the “cheese” – unfortunately very very fake, and in our case, hard as a rock, which makes dipping difficult.  Last in our sauce standings was the mustard, which was WAY too spicy, but Ashley kind of liked it.  Overall, the pretzel was ok.  Unfortunately, it was way too large for two people to eat by themselves (even girls with decent appetites), and we had to call in the big gun to help finish it off: teenage boy.  Overal thought – not worth the $16 pricetag.
Promotional Items: No promotional items, but Maggie’s prize pack had a number of promotional items from former years, including the Frank Howard bobblehead (gifted to Ashley so it can sit with her matching Adam Dunn bobblehead), the kid’s jersey backpack (which was nice, and may be Maggie’s bag of choice for future games), a kid’s cap (too small for Ben’s head, and thus, unworn during the game), a real player/coach jersey size XL (has anyone heard of #17 Montz???), and another curly-W backpack to carry it all in.
President’s Race: A straight race until the very last second when Tom crossed the finish line backwards, just edging out Abe.  Abe then knocked over the Geico Gecko.  Why?  Because Abe’s a jerk – THAT’S WHY.

Other Observations:
– This was another game with lots of fans from the opposing team.  However, Mets fans seem to be less obnoxious than Phillies fans.  So it was…ok.
– Because we’re weird creepy fans (not really), we knew it was Nyjer Morgan’s 30th birthday.  And he got a leadoff hit as a gift!
– Maggie and Ashley were standing up in the Scoreboard Walk area before gametime, hanging out, drinking their beers, when all of a sudden, a girl from the Nat Pack walked over and said, “Would either of you be interested in participating in an on-camera game with us for prizes?”  Maggie’s hand immediately shot in the air.  “I would”.  And thus, it began.  There was lots of waiting (to find another player, to find the host, to find the spot where we would shoot, for whatever else was on the big screen to finish, etc.), and then finally Maggie and her competitor Phil were playing “Nyjer Morgan or Willie Harris”.  Apologies to Phil, I’m sure he’s a great fan, but Maggie has been obsessed by T.Plush since his debut at Nats Park a little over a year ago, so she knew she would at least not embarrass herself, and that it would probably be a slam dunk.  First question: “Who attended Kennesaw State University?”  Maggie knew that Nyjer Morgan attended a community college out west, and KSU was probably not it.  So she answered “Willie Harris” and was right.  Next question: “Whose middle name is Charles?”  This one was a little trickier – Phil raised his hand and answered “Willie Harris”, but the answer was Nyjer Morgan!  Because it’s one or the other, Maggie got the points.  Last question – “Whose alter ego is known as Tony Plush?”  Maggie had her hand up before the end of the question, answered “Nyjer Morgan”, and won herself the prize pack (see the promotion items area for contents).  Good times.  If anyone out there in Nats-blogging land happens to have video, or knows where to find video of these pre-game contests, please let Maggie know.  She’d love to have a copy.
– On our way to our seats we walked by the awesome set-up for Black History Day at the park.  There were some fantastic displays about the Negro league teams and players, and it was really cool.
– To add to Maggie’s streak, a little while after Maggie, Ben and Ashley had settled in their seats, a Nats Pack girl sat down on the stairs and leaned over and asked, “Would you like to upgrade your seats to section 101?”  At this point, Maggie and Ben were thinking they’d won the Lucky Seat Upgrade (to the President’s Club), but Maggie mentioned that she’d already won a prize pack from the “Nyjer or Willie” game earlier that night.  The Nat Pack didn’t seem to understand until one of the guys recognized Maggie and said, “Didn’t you win one of the games earlier?”  It also seems that they were looking for four people all in Nats gear, and our trio was not enough.  So they moved on.  Later, we figured out that section 101 is in the outfield, and Maggie felt less bad for denying her brother the chance to move into the best seats in the ballpark.
– Whichever four people did move to section 101 were probably there for the “Thirst Row” promotion.  We weren’t sure what the point of it was, except to be a Budweiser commercial in between halves of the innings.  Generally terrible, and we nominate this as another in-game promotion that needs to be yanked.
– Both teams were wearing weird white hats with the stars and stripes on the inside of the team logos.  They looked…not great.

Cameraman's cheat sheet

Pudge's gear

Tom on the stairs

Conference at the mound

(the rest of the album from this game can be seen here)
(videos from this and other games can be seen here)


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One Response to “July 2, 2010: Washington Nationals vs New York Mets”

  1. July 10, 2010: Washington Nationals vs San Francisco Giants « First Ladies of Baseball Says:

    […] “You need to change your shirt because what if they select us for the Lucky Seat upgrade like they did last time?  You know they’re looking for people in Nats gear.”  Ben pulls on a red Natstown […]

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