September 3, 2011: Washington Nationals vs New York Mets

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On Saturday, before the Nats game against the Mets, we had already been on our feet for two hours.  This was because the Nats had an on-field photo session that had lasted for about 2 hours.  And thus we decided to try something new: dinner at the Red Porch.  We didn’t get a seat outside/right next to the window/open area, but there was still a cool breeze, and we had a different sort of dinner at Nats park (which included crab balls, a club sandwich, nicer beers than usual, and red velvet cupcakes.  All of it was pretty good.)

And then there was the game.  We went to find Maggie’s friends who were at the game, and just barely saw Desmond hit his home run at the top of the first, and by the time we got up to our seats on the gallery level, we saw (but did not talk to) Clint as he gave away lucky seat upgrades to a couple in the next section over.

But the real action showed up in the second inning.  Recently called up minor league pitcher Tom Milone got his first strikeout at the top of the inning, and followed that up with a 3-run home run on his first pitch seen in his first major league at bat.  The crowd went wild – I mean…how often does that happen?  Magical.

Then things started to get ugly.  In the fourth inning, Milone let his first runs score, and he was taken out the next inning.  Gorzelanny replaced him, and did ok for a while…only to have a 2 run homer against him the next inning.  Tyler Clippard allowed a run in the seventh, and for the rest of the game, the bullpen shut things down, but the Nats were still down a run, 6-5.

There were good things about the game too, don’t get us wrong. We got to see a new face at 1st – Marrero. He played solidly. We didn’t see him make any huge plays or huge screw-ups. We also witnessed Pudge’s first at-bat in a while. He snuck in off the DL when no one was looking… and promptly grounded out into a double play. Oh, Pudge. We miss you and can’t wait to see you back on the field soon.

And if we’re being honest – this is where Ashley and I left.  It was getting to be a long day at the ballpark (close to 6 hours), and watching Clippard slip was difficult.

So we listened to the rest of the game on the radio (hi Dave and Charlie – yes, people do listen to the games on the radio) on the way home.  Cue dramatic bottom of the ninth moment.  For some reason, Bobby Parnell (the Mets reliever) walked Roger Bernadina to fill the bases, which brought Ryan Zimmerman up to bat.  And Mr. Walkoff didn’t disappoint.  On the fourth pitch he saw, Ryan lifted a ball into right field, and for once when we all willed it to drop, it did, allowing the two necessary runs to cross the plate and finish the game.

Sometimes I feel bad about leaving games early (especially ones that are frustrating, and the Nats are losing), but occasionally, you get to do a little fist-pump and dance in the drivers seat.  Good times.  🙂

Full album of photos from this game, including the photo session from earlier in the day (post to follow), can be found here.

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