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.
July 6th 2012