Last Dance – September 25, 2011: Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves


Here we are, six months later.  We started the season on March 31 with rain, cold, and a loss to the Braves.  Things have changed dramatically since then.  The weather was improved (cloudy, but warm, with eventual sunshine), and a team with more wins and some confidence was taking on the Braves again to close out the season.

Last day of school
The atmosphere down in 129 was like the last day of school.  Fans and ushers were hugging, and taking pictures.  Lucky season ticket holders chatted on the field as they prepared to be the starting nine – those who run out on the field and welcome the Nats starting fielders at the top of the first inning.  And then festivities really started.  Glenn Donnellan got the call to do the final National Anthem of the year on his electric batolin.

Detweiler on the mound
Ross Detweiler pitched six innings in a start where he hoped to prove he deserves a spot on the rotation next year.  He got himself into a couple jams with the bases loaded, but managed to work his way out of it with the help of an excellent defense behind him.

Ramos crosses the plate
I stepped away from our seats after the President’s Race to get a snack when I heard the roar of the crowd.  I quickly turned my attentions to the monitor near the concession stand to see a replay of Wilson Ramos hitting his home run.

Henry Rodriguez
At that point, the Nationals had all the runs they would need to win the game.  At the top of the seventh, Davey Johnson brought in Henry Rodriguez, who went on to throw seven triple-digit-fastballs in a row.  It was such an unbelievably dominant performance that the Braves fans behind us asked if the radar gun in the stadium was stuck, because no one could throw like that.

Flying elbow
And just when everyone in the stadium was thinking it couldn’t get any better, Michael Morse went on to smack a two-run homer (his 29th of the year) to lift the team up to 3-0.  It was such an electric moment that the fans kept cheering for Morse until he came out and gave a curtain call to the fans.

Clippard on the mound
Cap that off with lights out innings from Clippard and Storen, and it was a magical afternoon.

That’s the last of our game posts for the year.  We’ll be back after the season to do some wrap-up posts.  So be on the lookout.  And if you’re free the afternoon of Wednesday September 28 (final Nats game of the year), there’s a group meeting up at the Clyde’s near Friendship Heights.  We’ll be the group in the downstairs bar, and it’s as good a place as any to close out the season.  Game starts at 4pm.

Nerd with a sign
P.S. recognize this nerd with the sign? F.P. Santangelo commented on the sign saying, “I’ll second that.”

Full album can be found here.


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