August 15, 2010: Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

by

Willingham fielding
Game: #118 – Nationals vs. Diamondbacks
Starting Pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (#37, 4-3, 3.02) vs. Barry Enright (#54, 3-2, 2.91)
Final Score: Nationals: 5, Diamondbacks: 3
Nats New Record: 51-67
Play of the Game: Josh Willingham gets a 2-run dinger to deep left-field to tie the game and give the Nats some hope.  What’s more amazing?  This was his first homer in more than 6 weeks and he did it on a knee that is likely to put him on the DL in the not-so-distant-future.
Player of the Game: Ryan Zimmerman – with an HR of his own, and a spectacular backwards catch, he showed that he’s really the heart of this team.  A friend who is not completely familiar with the Nats situation was thinking the team should trade him now, “while he’s still good”, but was pleased to be proved wrong when he heard that Ryan is younger than he thought, and also constantly improving his game, hence last year’s Golden Glove and Silver Slugger awards.  Having a day of excellent play proved that he deserved both, and should be with the Nats for a long, long time.
Most Interesting Non-baseball Moment: Four runners took to the field – a guy first in short left field, followed by a girl in right.  They ran, evading the security guards, only to meet up in center field and high-five.  This was all apparently a distraction because they went away fairly quietly as another pair of women came out carrying a banner.  I think most everyone at the game was pleased to see these people get taken down quickly.  There is a place for protests, and that’s outside, where you got your permit.  Doing something illegal that will delay a sporting event will only make people think you’re stupid and think poorly of your cause.
Who was there: Ashley, Maggie, and many of their friends and coworkers (too many to name individually!).
Our Records: Ashley – 8-8; Maggie – 9-10; (AND notable group members/previously appearing) Maggie’s Mom – 1-4; Jon – 3-0
Where did we sit: Our large group (we had 40+ people buy tickets) was in section 405, waaaaaay at the top.  Despite being in what most would call the nosebleeds, we all had a great view, were covered by the overhang in case of rain (which was a threat), and the price was definitely right.  If you’re interested in doing a group outing (20+ people) I would definitely recommend getting in touch with Nicole who tweets @NatsTix
Promotional Items: A back-to-school supply kit that neither Ashley nor Maggie managed to get a hold of.  We got a closer inspection when the children in our group brought them out to look at, and they were really neat: Zimmerman themed binders and pencil case with items inside!  Makes us wish we were 12 or under, or had children.
President’s Race: Teddy had the lead for half the race, but Abe eventually took the win (boo!)

Other Observations:
– We mentioned the protesters on the field above, but there was a larger, more legally gathered group before the game, urging Bud Selig – commissioner of Baseball – to move next year’s All Star game from Arizona.  They marched in a circle yelling rhyming slogans.  It was really interesting to see them, and then the counter-protesters who showed up.  It’s one of those things that makes it interesting to live in Washington – we’re never for want of people who are unhappy with the way things are being run.  But it’s great to see people’s right to gather and speak freely exercised in a peaceful way.
– If you get a group together – as suggested above – consider carefully where everyone will sit.  The most difficult thing about being an organizer for an event like this is that you want to talk to everyone and to make sure they’re all having a good time.  If you’re sitting 10 seats away…that’s nearly impossible.  And it’s easier when large parts of the group know each other and will have other people there to converse with during the game (about baseball, of course – not shopping!)
– Even though Strasburg didn’t get the curly w for himself, it was good to see him pitch, and start to get back to his old form.
– Ashley had the good fortune to meet up with an old high school acquaintance before the game.  He’s doing some interesting things now, and she’ll explain more about their reunion in a later post.

Preparing the field

Protest outside the Park

After the Hammer's homer

Protesters on the field


(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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