It was a weekend I had no official plans and was completely within my rights to do nothing or everything. While reading the Post on the deck with some coffee I saw an advert for the upcoming home stretch of the Nets. I quickly checked with my peeps and unfortunately everyone was busy but that didn’t stop my. I got my ass in gear and headed to DC for an afternoon of baseball.
With Safe Track finally over my trip into the city on Metro was still a nightmare. With the new schedule trains just run fewer and far between. This meant the last stretch on the green line was nuts to butts as hundreds of baseball fans making our way to the stadium for the game. The weather was going to be rather nice with low humidity and temps in the mid-80’s. My ticket was in left field so I was in the sun for the entire game. The warmth felt good but I never got to the point of sweeting my balls off which made me happy.
Not much I can write about this game. I arrived just in time to get my seat and watch the teams take the field for the first inning. Very quickly the Nats where up to bat in the first and started putting points on the board. By the 3rd inning it was already 8 to nothing or something crazy. In the fifth inning with the Nats WAAAAY ahead and the likelihood of the Reds coming back waning, I started losing interest in the game. By the seventh I was actively looking to leave the stadium and get a head start on the green line.
In no time I was headed west towards home. It was a great day at the ballpark, finally glad I got out to see a Nats game this season. While the ticket was expensive I don’t feel it was a waste of money. I just wish the Reds could have put up a small fight and make a game out of it. Next I will have to see about a game during the week. I think leaving work a little early for a later afternoon game is in order.
My old company Van Metre sponsored a day at Nationals Park for anyone in the company. I got two tickets and invited my brother out for a fun afternoon. While I am no longer technically an employee of ICM, I was able to still go. I still get invited to all the company events which is nice. I already miss working for ICM and it has only been a couple of weeks.
Game day my brother meet me at my old office and we headed up to the city early for lunch and drinks. I went to Bluejacket the last time I saw a Nats game so we headed there again. Last time I didn’t get any of the food so we ate lunch and I had several beers, all of which were good.
We eventually made our way to the stadium, honestly I was no in any hurry to get to the game. Our tickets were in nose bleed so we headed up and found a couple of seats near our ticketed seats. It was a mid-week game in the afternoon so it was not even close to selling out. Thankfully as high up as we were we had covered seats when the rain game. It rained for at least an hour and it was funny to see people start to filter up to our level seeking cover.
The game itself was kinda boring to be honest. Twice the Nats left the bases loaded without scoring. It went all the way to the 9th inning before anyone scored. Thankfully it was the Nats who scored, winning the game and increasing the win streak to 10 games. The game ended on an error with the ball rolling into the Nats dugout, causing an automatic base to be given, winning the game for us. The batter who “hit” the ball was credited with winning the game even though it didn’t get the hit and it was the error that caused the run to be score. A really weird way to score a run and win the game.
The best part of the entire day was hanging out with my brother. It has been far to long since just the two of us have gone out together. We caught up on our lives and just chatted which was so cool. I would have been very content to just sit at Bluejacket, drink beer and talk with him all afternoon.
My parent company, Van Metre, got all the department heads together yesterday for a company event. They rented a suite at Nationals Park for a game against the Reds. I have been to a few games before but never have I been to a suite at the Nats, or any professional game for that matter. It was a great opportunity to meet and greet the other department heads while enjoying a relaxed environment and a few beers.
A few of us ICM employees meet at Bluejacket’s for a pre-game happy hour. I remember reading about this brewpub in DC almost two years ago. It took them a while to open and longer for me to visit but the wait was worth it. My dad and I always wanted to see a Nats game and stop here for a drink or three. I sampled three of their beers and I must say I was most impressed with Twit. This sour wheat sure hit the spot for me. Clean, crisps, with a great tart taste that didn’t make me pucker. I unfortunately didn’t make it inside the restaurant, Derek said it is a sight to behold so I certainly look forward to coming back and sampling some more beers inside the restaurant this time.
It took no time at all to walk to the stadium and then I had to find the suite. I actually stopped and asked around because the signs did little to direct me where I needed to go. Eventually I found the suite and I must saw I was impressed. You could certainly get a better view with a closer seat but the amenities are what counted here. From the suite you could see the entire field without straining your neck. Free food, cold beer (poor selection but it’s hard to pass up free) and even a pool table. It was funny, first time in a suite and I needed to pee. I step outside and find a guy who informed me the suite had facilities, two in fact. Not sure if I will get another chance like this but it certainly was fun.
As for the game it was pretty good. First few inning it was a goose egg all around. In the fourth inning Cincinnati went up and proceeded to score again in the fifth. We eventually got a run and not until the ninth did we tie it up, we went to extra innings. By this point everyone had left except Tim, Cathy and I. They bailed during the tenth and I stayed till the 11th. Unfortunately I had to catch the train home so I couldn’t stay till the final pitch. I kept up with the score from my phone and we eventually lost 4-3 in the 15th inning. I almost made it home before the game ended it was so long.
It was a fantastic evening. Bluejacket kicked ass and it was great to hang out with some of my co-workers. The suite was awesome and it was a great opportunity to network with other department heads from Van Metre. I know they are planning another outing to Nationals Park in August, this time opened to everyone in the company and our spouses which will be fun. I love what I do and love my company.
For Father’s Day Pat decided to take my dad and the family out to a Nats game. This was funny because my dad and I just talked about this while at the bar after fishing, how we haven’t seen a game this year and need to. We even started working out dates and quickly found out that with both our schedules, a weekend game would be rather tough, but a Friday game was possible.
With short notice Pat informed us that Friday was the day to see a game if we could make it. It would be the Nats verse the Rockies, game time 7pm. I was busy getting ready for my trip to Saratoga Springs but I was in. I was planning on leaving around 7am on Saturday and I knew it would be a long night. We meet at my dad’s house and drove to the stadium. We had five people going Metro is not the cheaper option.
Tonight’s game happened to be on one of those 100 degree days in the city. For weeks the weather has been brutal with above average heat and high humidity. It started with the first day of summer while I was at the Phish show in Portsmouth and never slowed down. When we had the severe thunderstorm roll through knocking out power, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time because the temperature was going on 9 straight days above 95 degrees.
Even though it was almost 7pm by the time we got to the stadium, it was still oppressively hot. We got a quick bit to eat and took our seats on the lower level on the Nats side of the stadium. The seats where down close to the field providing a great view of the game. I was hoping it would be out of the sun but no dice, we were in the direct sun for about 45 minutes as the sun set behind the stadium. Everyone was having beer at the game but all I wanted was water. I know beer can be refreshing, but no in heat like this.
The Nats where on a run for the last few games and were four or four and a half games ahead in the National League East. We had high hopes for a good game and another win. The Rockies were at the bottom of the National League West so it should have been an easy win and a great start to the three game series. To top it off one of our ace pitchers was starting that night, Strasburg. Early on when the Rockies got a solo home run in the second inning, my hopes were not dashed. It was only one run and it was still early in the game.
Unfortunately for us, the entire game was dominated by the Rockies. As the inning ticked by the Rockies score two more runs in the 4th and more in the later inning, including another home run. You could tell the Nats were off in their game play. They never seemed to hustle to catch balls and the outfielders constantly miss judge where the hitter would hit the ball. Often times the ball would fall short or just sail over their heads. As for batting the situation was even worse. The Nats couldn’t swing to save their life. A ton of strike outs all night, they kept swinging at crap pitches and they paid the price for their negligence.
When the ninth inning came around the score was already 5 to zero with little hope of us coming back to win so the stadium started to empty rather early. There was some hope early in the inning as Zimmerman hit a solo home run with no outs, at least we got on the board. We even got a few people on base but the poor batting came back to haunt the team with three quick outs and with that the game was over. It was a disappointing lose to a team we should have beaten.
To drawn our sorrows we stopped at the Capitol City Brewery in Shirlington for some beer. If they won, we would have stopped to celebrate the win. Now that things finally cooled off a little I had my first beer of the day, the seasonal Oak Aged Fuel. It was a cask poured dark porter that was pretty good. Certainly a heavy beer but at the end of the day, I wanted something heavy. Lots of coffee and some hints of vanilla in this porter.
It was well after midnight when we left the bar and started heading home. I still had some packing to do and it was close to 2 or 3am before I got to sleep. This caused a delay in leaving the following morning, but it worked out in the end. I made it to the show in time to get my seat and catch Phish walk out onto the stage.
When I went to the Nats vs. Red Sox a week ago a good friend of mine, Rob, wanted to come along. But with the game sold out it was impossible to get three tickets next to each other. Instead we decided to catch another game. He had never been to the stadium and wanted to see a game, just like me he is not a big baseball fan, but it’s good to say you did it at least once.
The best day for everyone was a Sunday afternoon game on the 5th of July against the Braves. If Will and Saundra were able to make it for the fourth, I thought this would have been a great way to end their trip to DC. But after getting all interested parties together, it would be my Dad, Nancy, Rob and myself going to the game. We of course followed the same plan as with the Sox game: meet at my Dad’s house, drive to Pentagon City Mall, and Metro to the stadium.
When we arrived because Rob had never been to the stadium we walked around some so he could get a good look at the stadium. We also got food and beer, what would a ball game be without beer? Our seats for this game were right behind the visitor dugout. These seats were covered so when I checked the weather early in the week there was a possibility of rain, but we would have been protected. The weather could not have been more perfect game day. It was in the mid-70’s I believe with near zero humidity. Clouds hung in the sky most of the day, but rain was never a threat. For being the dog days of summer the weather sure was not playing along.
The crowd for the game was much thinner. I should not have seen a sold out game vs. the Red Sox first. There might have been 15,000 people that day and that is probably just because it was a Sunday game after the 4th of July. Everyone is already in the city for the fireworks so why not catch a game. Even with the low turn out the crowds was pretty good. Again there were a lot of Braves fans in the stadium, this time we Nat fans were not outnumbered 4 or 5 to one.
This was the third in a series with Atlanta, tied at 1-1 with the Nats winning the game on Saturday they were heading into game three with the pendulum swinging toward their side. Right from the start the Nats quickly took the lead and by the third inning were up 3-0. The Braves struck back and took a nibble out of that lead in the third with one run scored. By the ninth inning, with the game all but won, the score was 5-1. We were still staying till the final pitch was thrown and the game was officially over. But the Braves had a little life left in them and scored two in the finally inning. It looked like we had a game on our hand and extra inning was a possibility. But with some great pitching the Nats won the game 5-3. My Dad’s win streak was still holding with a win every time he sees a game.
Once the game was over we decided to hang out and let the crowds die down before fighting the crowds on Metro. This time the staff was more vigorous in getting the people out of the seats. With fewer fans in the stadium it was much easier to clear out. Getting kicked out was not a problem, we decided to take the hint and hit the Capitol City Brewery in Shirlington again for some victory drinks. We ponied up to the bar and ordered a round while we savored our teams victory. I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday and nag John about the Nats victory. He is a huge Braves fan and the lowly Nats won two in the series.
After the first round of drinks it was getting pretty late and we needed to head back to my Dad’s house. My Dad was grilling flank steak and Rob was staying for dinner. With such nice weather we decided to eat out on the deck. But before we left Shirlington we stopped by the Best Buns Bread Co. to get some bread for dinner. While there I also picked up some lemon squares for desert, everything looked so good. When we did get back to his house we started cooking and had some great wine to go with dinner. We sat outside for several hours enjoying dinner and just talking.
It was a great idea Rob had to see a game at the ball park and Sunday was the perfect day to do it. A lazy Sunday afternoon at the ball park, drinks after, and a good home cooked meal on the deck, life is perfect. I can’t wait to do it again.