April 17, 2011: Washington Nationals vs Milwaukee Brewers (Game 1 of Doubleheader)


LaRoche and cherry blossoms

Game: #014 – Nationals vs. Brewers
Starting Pitchers: Jason Marquis (#21, 1-0, 3.26) vs. Yovani Gallardo (#49, 1-1, 4.62)
Final Score: Nationals: 8, Brewers: 4
Nats New Record: 7-7
Play of the Game: Danny Espinosa hits a 3-run homer in the fifth inning.
Player of the Game: Ian Desmond – broke out of his slump in a big way – gets himself a ground rule double (which turns into a run on Pudge’s homer), and then a dinger in the 8th inning.

Screech hands out cupcakes

Favorite Non-baseball Moment: Early in the game, Screech – who was celebrating his birthday – and a few mascot friends handed out cupcakes in the press box.  Because my seats are in the section just below the box, we heard an announcement around the second inning that Screech was giving all the journalists Georgetown Cupcakes.  April (my game buddy) and I were SO jealous.
Who was there: Maggie and mutual friend of hers and Ashley’s, April.

Curly W pretzel

What did we eat: April tried out the Big Kid Dog, and Maggie had a falafel.  Aprils hot dog was a little warmer than the one that Maggie tried, so said it was better.  Maggie’s falafel had too many vegetables (she should have just asked for only lettuce as a wimpy eater).  Later, April had a cinnamon curly W pretzel, and Maggie got hungry and got chili nachos from Hard Times Cafe.
President’s Race: The Un-Racing sausages had an early lead, but Screech’s mascot friends stopped them, and then the Rushmores caught up, and Teddy body-slammed one of the sausages into the ground.  A truly epic stop by Teddy, which allowed George to take the win.

Capitol View

Other Observations:
– Adam LaRoche tried to do a back and forth 3-6-3 double play in the third inning, and the ball didn’t get back to first base in time for the second out.  Really disappointing.
– Mama Screech was in attendance at the game, supporting her son on his 6th birthday with a cake.  The Mama Screech costume cracks me up, because it’s such a terrible re-working of the original Screech costume.  But really – what else are you going to do with a fat Bald Eagle furry costume that looks like a beanie baby?
– Ian Desmond wasn’t the only one breaking out of a slump – Michael Morse had a pretty decent game too, and his hit, combined with Ian’s were the 2 guys on base when Pudge stepped up to bat.  Pudge’s hit just barely cleared the fence into the stands.  The funny part was that on twitter earlier in the game, everyone was saying, “Oh, I called Danny’s home run.”  NO ONE called Pudge’s.  I think more people made comments about him being likely to ground into a double play than possibly hitting one out.
– Nyjer Morgan made a pinch hitting appearance in the 6th inning.  Reports said mixed boos and cheers, but from where I sat, he seemed to be roundly booed.
– Jason Marquis pitched for 7 innings and did an admirable job.  He even had a decent hit, which contributed to every National in the lineup getting a hit, and by getting a quality start, made sure that every starting pitcher for the Nationals had a quality start thus far.

Clippard pitches in the 9th
– The ninth inning took what seemed like forever to finish.  The bullpen didn’t seem quite so sure of themselves (perhaps worried about how things would go with a second game starting soon), and it was a long inning.  Long enough to allow the wave to go around the ballpark a few times!
– Due to a previous engagement of Maggie’s, we weren’t able to stick around for the second game.  It seemed that leaving after the first had finished was not just our plan – what seemed like half of Nats park streamed out around 4:40 when the last out was recorded.  Maggie wishes she had been able to stay – a true doubleheader is rare, and would have been fun (if a LOT of baseball).

(full album from this game can be seen here)


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