Sunday, August 13, 2006
Rocking NIGHT AT RFK!!
42,507 baseball fans showed up at RFK Stadium tonight for an exciting affair. Its safe to say that nearly 15,000 were Mets fans, but it really didn't matter as it all added to a fabulous atmosphere on a VERY LOUD NIGHT.
Section 320 was in full tilt, with the celebration of RALLY TIME Richards birthday. Nearly the entire contingent was in attendance--16 in all, and the Cheering, Singing and Attempts to drown out the New York fans was in constant motion. Everytime the "LETS GO METS" chant began, Section 320 went into a "LETS GO NATIONALS!!" or a song for whomever was at the plate for our NATS!!
We added a "HE-HO Castro" chant for Bernie Castro, and had nearly the entire 320 and accompanied sections screaming the "Alfonso----SORIANO!! cheer, EVERY SINGLE TIME Alfonso came to the plate. Zimmerman, Nick Johnson, Austin "Bluegrass" Kearns, Mar--LON! ANDER--SOOON, Schneiderman (Spiderman theme song) and even Felipe Lopez got in some serious chants. Section 320 was rocking. And SCREECH (MY MAIN BIRD) came by early to receive his deserved adulation. And quickly got "DOWN IN FRONT".
It was a GREAT NIGHT, it would have been FABULOUS, if the Nats had won, but pitching, once again doomed our team, a 6-4 lost to the very dangerous, and talented, New York Mets.
Mets starter, John Maine, came into the game riding a 22 inning scoreless streak. Maine, traded by the Baltimore Orioles over the past winter, for Kris Benson (and his showoff wife--Anna) has been nothing short of tremendous for New York-although is record of 2-3 does not show it. And, he continued that streak, mowing down the Nationals on zero hits and one walk through 3.2 innings. At first, the Nats just could not figure Maine out.
By the time the Nats would get their first hit, the Mets would have already struck hard at emergency Washington Starter, Jason Bergmann. Decent at times, Bergmann has been up and down for the Nationals over the past season and a half. And, only because the Nats are DESPERATE for pitching, did Jason get the call tonight after his recent call up from New Orleans.
In the top of the 3rd, Jason lost his control over the first 4 hitters. Hitting Maine with two strikes, followed by a Jose Reyes triple to right center that Alex Escobar made a valiant dive for, but missed , scoring Maine, a sharp single to left by Paul LoDuca, scoring Reyes and another shot to right center that got past Kearns and Escobar for another triple, making it 3-0 METS. And the stadium was rocking, unfortunately, it was the New York Fans. With still no outs and a visit to the mound by Randy StClaire, Bergmann was able to settle down, retiring Carlos Delgado, David Wright and Jose Valentin in order, without Beltran scoring.
The Nats would get their first hit and first run, in the 4th, when Nick Johnson would finally figure out Maine, in a big way, and CRUSHED a full count fastball deep into the upper deck. SECTION 464. Monster Shot--Giving the approximately 27,000 Nats fans a good opportunity to, FINALLY, let out some NOISE!!
Bergmann would actually complete 5 innings, throwing 91 pitches, 61 for strikes. He wasn't bad, just wasn't good enough tonight against a very aggressive lineup. The 3rd inning killed him, just 4 batters, but it was enough.
Travis Hughes would come on for the 6th and proved, once again, he is just not Major League Material. Leadoff blast by David Wright into the right centerfield poweralley, put Wright at second. Valentin would move him to 3rd on a ground out to second. Michael Tucker would walk, and Lastings Milledge (the guy so many Nats fans were craving for, in exchange for Livan Hernandez) chopped a pitch right off home plate soooooo HIGH that Zimmerman just had to hold onto the ball, scoring Wright and giving the Mets a 4-1 lead.
But, as the Nats have proven alot lately, they can fight back, and they did it GRAND FASHION in the bottom of the 6th!!. Bernie Castro, a talented, fast second baseman, that played extremely well late last season for the Orioles, came to the plate to pinch hit for Hughes. He slapped a single to Reyes at short and beat the throw easily. Soriano would come to the plate, take one pitch and then WHACK a John Maine High Fastball to DEAD CENTERFIELD. A NO DOUBTER 2 RUN HOMER. THE CROWD WENT NUTS!! The African Queen (my wife) went crazy over her love, Alfonso's 37th home run of the season, and RFK STADIUM BOUNCED and ROARED ITS APPROVAL!! 4-3 Nats And Sohna gave me a very appreciative kiss!! Still no outs!!
Felipe Lopez (not known as my favorite player, and affectionately known by me and other bloggers as "FLop") lashed a single to center. Flop then stole second. After retiring Zimmerman, Mets Manager, Willie Randolph would take out Maine and bring in crafty lefthander, Pedro Feliciano. Nick Johnson would greet him with a line shot single to center, scoring Lopez and bringing the RFK Stadium Faithful to their feet!!
As faith would have it, this was the last time we were able to shut up the New York Mets Fans.
Frank Robinson, with his hands tied over an inexperienced bullpen, called on Chris Schroder to make his second Major League Appearance. Unfortunately, his effort was nowhere near as positive as his first one. Schroder looked nervous from the first pitch, which Carlos Beltran greeted him with a towering drive to right center for a clean double. Delgado would ground sharply to Lopez at short, moving Beltran to 3rd. Then, Chris would hit David Wright. A visit to the mound by StClaire didn't help as Valentin would go deep into the count, fouling off 4 straight pitches, before blopping a texas leaguer just in front of Kearns, scoring Beltran, moving Wright to 3rd. And Michael Tucker would end the scoring with a routine sacrifice fly to left, scoring Wright and giving the New York Fans the opportunity to chant "LETS GO METS" for the remainder of the evening.
Aaron Heilman would come on for the Mets in the 8th and Billy Wagner would come on in the 9th to retire the side, including another fabulous strikeout by my least favorite player, Damian Jackson, pinch hitting for Saul Rivera. The Mets fans stood, clapped and shouted till the end. But, that's OK with me. It was a FUN atmosphere. The Nats just don't have enough right now to compete every single night.
But, it did not take away from the enjoyment of the evening.
One final note, in celebration of Screech's Birthday, the Oriole Bird, Mr. Met and "ACE" of the Toronto Blue Jays were all in attendance, and will be for the entire weekend. All the mascots, with Screech stood on the Nats 3rd base dugout during the 7th inning stretch and threw T-Shirts to the Crowd. I believe MR. MET is the very first Mascot, ever. And "ACE" looks just FABULOUS. Serious BEAK and close cut wings/fur. And, we all know the Orioles Bird from many seasons past. It was nice to see them.. Too bad the Phillie Phanatic could not have been there. Sohna LOVES the Phanatic!!