Saturday, August 04, 2007
RallyTime!! started early tonight and did not end--EVER!! With Our Washington Nationals down 1-0 on a homer by The St. Louis Cardinals Adam Kennedy (BATTING 9th I remind you--behind their pitcher), Ryan Zimmerman got RALLYTIME!! started with a TOWERING BLAST to leftfield into Section 445 in the bottom of the 4th. The BEGINNING OF A FIVE RUN INNING, AND AN OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT!!. Then, Our Number 11 put RallyTime!! to rest with a COLASSAL CLOUT into the Mezzanine, just below section 451, in DEEP LEFT CENTERFIELD. This, the ending of ANOTHER 5 RUN RALLY!!--A Blast that was SIMPLY PRODIGIOUS!! Ryan's First Career Two Homer Night, not only gave Our Washington Nationals a 10-1 Lead, but also sent RFK STADIUM INTO A TIZZY! Boy--was the Old Ballyard EVER ROCKING TONIGHT. On arguably, one of most enjoyable nights of the season--Our TEAM FLAT OUT CRUSHED SOMEONE. There could not have been one single Fan of Our Washington Nationals that DID NOT GET SATISFACTION OUT OF THIS ROMP!!
And, when Brian Schneider got into the act with his 5th Homer this season, a two run shot to right--in the bottom of the 7th--The Party that had begun at RFK Stadium in the game changing 4th--now moved to shear CELEBRATION!! A 12-1 CAKEWALK over the Defending World Series Champions. A SWEET VICTORY for any of The Faithful--after witnessing SO MANY CLUBBINGS by opposing teams during the first 2 plus seasons of Nationals Baseball. If watching your Home Team win convincibly is the goal--this was THE GAME OF THE YEAR!!
A No Doubter that filled many hearts with joy on this SWELTERING AUGUST EVENING!! Really, it did not matter that the heat and humidity was brutal. Even a clamminess very visible with SMOG actually hanging over the playing field all night, not hampering the spirits. This Dampness helping Washington's Efforts--3 Homers, 4 Doubles and 14 hits total. An evening that witnessed not one Washington starter either reaching base safely, scoring a run, or knocking in one. This escapade was a total team effort.
An exercise that included Joel Hanrahan getting his FIRST MAJOR LEAGUE VICTORY. A win that saw Our New Number 38 go strong into the 6th, before tiring. An appearance that included a key, two out, two run, double down the left field line in the breakout 4th by Joel--and finished with The Cardinals Starter, Joel Pinero, throwing an errant pickoff throw to first base, attempting to keep FLop from stealing second. An error that allowed Hanrahan to trot home with the 5th run--during RALLYTIME's!! astounding 4th.
When Joel Hanrahan was relieved of duty by Our Manager Manny Acta in that 6th inning, he received AS LOUD OF A STANDING OVATION AS ANY PLAYER FOR OUR WASHINGTON NATIONALS HAS RECEIVED ALL SEASON LONG. The Supporters on hand realizing--something special is beginning to gel. Our Team's 5th straight victory, a signal that A NEW BEGINNING is upon us. No longer the DOORMATS of Baseball. No longer forgotten as inept. No longer considered a FRANCHISE without Direction. Our Washington Nationals are an enjoyable sight.
Take a look at every other team in Major League Baseball. Who, outside of some of the top American League Teams, would you consider Franchise's with long term futures? Not one single National League Team, is a GREAT TEAM. Very few of them have YOUTH ON THEIR SIDE. Our Washington Nationals, building from within--along with a few veteran parts--have surprised a ton of folks. So called experts that believed any team without established pitching, would flounder to decrepid levels.
Inexperience has not killed Our Team. Injuries have not killed Our Team. Bad Word of Mouth has not killed Our Team. A Positive Approach has brought stability. A sooner than expected maturity of younger players has brought faith. A preseverance from long lost journeyman looking for their last chance to prove themselves, has brought charm.
Curly "W" Number 50 only put Our Washington Nationals 1/2 game from lifting themselves out of the cellar. But, The BANG!! ZOOM!! of The Fireworks!! brought a cheer deserving of a WINNING TEAM. A Squad that is far better than the sum of their parts. Ask any teammate of ANY POST-SEASON TEAM and they will always tell you--Chemistry always preceeds victory. The Ability to work together as one--always brings a Championship.
Yeah, Our Washington Nationals are far from that Ultimate Goal--but the foundation is definitely being built. Who would have thought after 110 Games of this 2007 Season--The Team of Our Nation's Capital would have won 50 so far. Not Many--I would suspect. Less than two months to go in their final season at RFK STADIUM, and Our Washington Nationals are a team to watch. The Satisfaction of tonight's victory, a feeling that's been building for some time.
Game Notes & Highlights:
Ronnie Belliard got this evening started showing wisdom and expertise of veteran leadership. With The Cardinals Scott Spezio on first base with one out in the top of the 2nd, Yadier Molina blooped a ball just inside the grass between first and second. "The Ballplayer" realizing that Spezio would hang near first--not wanting to get picked off--saw that Molina simply got lazy and did not run to first base. Using his brain, Ronnie Belliard, at the last possible moment--let the baseball drop--then threw to Dimitri Young at first to retire Yadier. Scott Spezio, left in nowhere's land was tagged out by Felipe Lopez attempting to run to second base. A sharp, heads up play that was THE DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THIS GAME. An effort that actually brought BOO's from the uninformed crowd that originally witnessed Belliard letting the baseball drop to the ground. Obviously, many in attendance were not aware of the nuances of The GREAT GAME. Troy and I in Section 320, laughed about this for some time.
To give credit where credit is due--Nook Logan actually struck gold tonight. A Two Out RBI single to right in the Key 4th Inning Uprising. And, a one out double to center scoring Brian Schneider from second base in the decisive 5th inning. Nook would go 3 for 3 this evening, score 2 runs and knock in two. In many respects, a career night for Our Number 7. Surprising, to say the least.
Also, in that 5th--Tony Batista pinch hit for Saul Rivera and produced one of the most fascinating At-Bats of this season. During his 7 pitch appearance against Mike Maroth--Tony would first foul a DEEP FLY into the Upper Deck--Section 441, but foul. Then, LAUNCH another BLAST DEEP into Section 442--Just to the left of the Foul Pole. Everyone on the feet. Not a sole believing the sight. All on swings by Batista that looked as carefree as you could ever power a bat. An Effortless Stroke that was impressive. An opportunity that eventually saw Our Number 77 half swing a single over St. Louis Third Baseman Scott Rolen into leftfield for an RBI single. Really, Batista's At-Bat was remarkable. Certainly one of the top 10 At-Bats this season--if simply for Outstanding Performance in A Supporting Role. What An Appearance!! Everyone was talking about it.
Defense was also key this evening. The St. Louis Cardinals rapped out 10 hits, but scored just one run--on a homer. Our Washington Nationals turned FOUR DOUBLE PLAYS. All four killing rallies for St. Louis. A fine night for our defense. And, Ronnie Belliard continues to pivot at second base, as well as, any player in the game. What a performer.
Ryan Zimmerman now batting .270. His three RBI against The Cardinals now giving him the team lead at 60. "Z", 11 RBI during his past 7 games, slamming at a .500 clip during this homestand--11 for 22. Impressive that young man.
St.Louis so outmanned tonight that Aaron Miles--last seen breaking up a no hitter being pitched by Ramon Oritz last Labor Day at RFK Stadium--was called on to pitch a 1-2-3 8th by his Manager--Tony LaRussa. Miles is The Cardinals Second Baseman.
As good as all that sounds--tonight was a vintage night in Section 320.
Screech--so STUNNED to see MickNats customary seat unoccupied for a fourth straight game--mourned his loss--with a celebratory gesture in Honor Of One of Our Own--right in front of his seat. MickNats is fine. He's just taking care of some personal business. Although Neal--MickNats Main Beer Pimp--may well be filing for bankruptcy soon--if MickNats does not return by next home stand.
My Best Friend later surprised me--after Schneider hit his Two Run Homer and everyone was celebrating in Section 320--I turned to see Screech staring right into my face, wanting to party. He also had come to Cherish the moment. We've all been through alot of ups and downs watching Nationals Baseball at RFK Stadium. Even Screech wanted to join in the fun. Enjoyment that continued when he posed with Sohna's new gift picked up at tonight's game--"BABY SCREECH".
In the top of the 7th, The Racing Presidents appeared as usual in the tunnel to the left of Section 320. First GW, ABE and TOM posted up, without Teddy. As the popular "LET TEDDY WIN!!" Chant began circulating among the regulars--George, Abe and Tom responded with their usual Thumbs Down and Waves of "NO"--to everyone's great delight. Then, out of NOWHERE--"TEDDY" came CHARGING THROUGH THE TUNNEL, dipping his head so not the hit the roof--then BARGED through his racing friends to the front of Section 320. Whereupon he ACTUALLY STOOD ON LOWER RUNG OF THE RAILING TO LEAD THE "LET TEDDY WIN!!" Chant. A virtuoso performance that caught the attention of EVERYONE ALONG THE THIRD BASE SIDE. A Commotion that gripped even Ryan Zimmerman, if ever so briefly, manning third base. What a PERFORMANCE by "TEDDY". How in world can someone that large with a head--far bigger than life itself--balance on that lower railing. DID HE EVER LOOK HUGE BALANCING ON THAT RAIL!!! NEVER in the history the "LET TEDDY WIN!!" Chant has the emotion run so high. In many respects--this moment--better than most every other moment of tonight's game. Just Terrific. My only fault was not being quick enough to take a picture. Why to Go TEDDY!!
With tonight's game well out of hand--Barbara--who sits two rows directly in front of me--turned around and honestly asked: "What Time Is IT?" "What Time Is IT?" is a Section 320 Warrior Cry. Without hesitation--The African Queen and I answered with the only known response--yelling out "RALLYTIME!!" Not only did Barbara almost lose her beer--she couldn't stop laughing for a good minute. Sohna and I chuckling with delight. If only RallyTime Richard was there tonight to enjoy the moment--would it have been better.
And, Our Section 320 friend, Jim--was wearing his lucky Red Shoes with "GO NATS" embroidered. I believe Jim is Undefeated in those shoes.
Finally--August 4th, 2007 was BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT!! The Second of Four Racing Presidents were given away to the first 20,000 Customers. Thomas Jefferson was the hero tonight. And, as expected--TJ won the 4th inning Race, assisted by security to protect his lead. Although "Teddy" made every effort to ruin the party by actually attempting to slip past security by taking an outside lane to win. An unexpected effort--that once again--was fruitless. "Teddy" now 0-96 in the President's Race. What a Loser!!
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Haraz N. Ghanbari
PS--Miss Chatter was kind enough to take and pass along this photo of The African Queen and I with our autograph stash from today's event with Frank "Hondo" Howard at Pearsons Wine in The District. Thank you Miss Chatter. We loved seeing you again.