June 15, 2011: Washington Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals

Game: #068 – Nationals vs. Cardinals
Starting Pitchers: Livan Hernandez (#61, 3-8, 4.15) vs. Kyle McClellan (#46, 6-2, 3.86)
Final Score: Nationals: 10, Cardinals: 0
Nats New Record: 32-36
Hands down, this was the best baseball game Ashley has ever been to. The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and the baseball was outstanding.
Ashley and husband Drew were at the park and stayed for the entire game (all 2 hrs, 23 minutes of it). That’s right, the Nats were on fire and made a lot of baseball happen in a very short amount of time.
Everyone agrees, the player of the game was Livan Hernandez. He pitched a complete game and only gave up three hits. In fact, he only had two innings where more than three batters (4 in each case) made it to the plate, and he threw just over 100 pitches (105).
At the end of the game, he removed his cap as a precaution and seemed pleased to be given the shaving cream pie while being interviewed in front of the dugout.
The pie was delivered by Lannan, and it seemed to be both recognition of a job well done and a thank you for giving the bullpen the night off.
The runner up player of the game was Michael Morse. He hit his first home run in the 2nd, and really set the mood for the rest of the game. 2 of the 4 HRs belonged to him, as well as 3 of the 10 runs. He was close to getting another HR during his second at-bat, but had to be content with a ground-rule double instead. On defense, Morse was a very solid player at 1st base. With LaRoche out for surgery, hopefully we will see him there often.
Ashley was excited to see Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate. He did not disappoint on offense – he was on base three times and scored twice.
In addition, in a classic Pudge move, he belted a ball from the plate to 2nd base to stop a runner from stealing.
Kudos to all the other Nats who scored – Werth (twice, including a homer in the 8th), Nix, and Espinosa (twice, including a homer in the 7th).
It seemed like the only one who didn’t score was Teddy – despite being assisted by That Cat and the Rally Penguin, he was unable to beat George to the finish. Perhaps it was the lobster claw hands that slowed him down (Happy belated National Lobster Day!).
For the non-baseball part of the game, Ashley and Drew got to the game early to check out the new Scoreboard Walk. It was very nice on a Wednesday night, but we’re not sure how well it will work on a crowded day. It would be usefull if there were more places to rest a beer while you ate a burger – seats are still hard to get. The new sails seem like they will really work well to lower the temperature on hot days though.
Ashley and Drew tried the Shake Shack burgers and the Box Frites fries. The burgers were very good – moist and flavorful. However, it was the garlic-parm fries that made us happy. The garlic wasn’t overwhelming and the parm was higher quality than “green box” cheese. We couldn’t finish them all at dinner, so we took them back to our seats. They were still delicious cold an hour later.
We can’t say for certain that the full moon had anything to do with the Nats great game, but whatever it was, we’re looking forward to seeing more like it in the future.
(full album from this game can be seen here)

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