Monday, September 17, 2007
Those Amazing Mets/Our Amazing Friends
Even The Fireworks Operators realized this game was well in hand. Jesus Colome had just retrieved a High Chopper by The New York Mets Luis Castillo. Although trailing by 8 runs with two outs in the top of the 9th--Castillo did not give up on the play. As "The Human Rain Delay" turned to throw the baseball to Tony Batista for the Final Out--BANG!! ZOOM!! Went The Fireworks!!
And this Rout WAS NOT EVEN OFFICIALLY OVER!!
First Base Umpire Larry Vanover had yet to rule on the play. He couldn't--Our Number 77 had not caught the baseball in his glove. Not that it mattered, but it sure was fitting. Once Vanover did rule Luis Castillo out at First Base--The Real Celebration could begin. Troy, The African Queen, MickNats and I laughing over the mis-timed pyrotechnics. How much more fun would everything had been if the hustling Castillo had been ruled safe? Oh, very much more so.
As it turned out, Curly "W" Number 67 was a 12-4 Skunking of The New York Mets. An affair that looked anything but winnable as The Racing Presidents finished their HILARIOUS EFFORT TONIGHT heading to the bottom of the 4th. Then, as always happens in baseball--the unexpected turnabout that had RFK Rocking, and Laughing, thanks to New York's AWFUL Performance. All on A SPECIAL NIGHT at The Old Ballyard on East Capital Street--for The African Queen.
Not only did Our Washington Nationals put out a top performance, so did all our friends. Today was Sohna's Birthday. And, Our Many Compatriots at RFK--Now Family--stepped to the forefront. From the get-go, the party was on. Did our Friends EVER DELIVER!! Screech!!! Clint & The NatPack, Iris, Biff, Colleen, Jeff & Richard (Our Favorite Usher)--More on their efforts later.
But first--Yes, Our Washington Nationals were down 4-0 early. Tonight's Washington Starter Tim Redding had nothing in the Tank. A Two Run Blast by Carlos Beltran highlighted a three run first for The Mets. Then, Shawn Green launched another solo shot to right in the 4th. Returning following his elbow injury taken off a hard smash two weeks ago--Our Number 17 had little. "Things sure didn't look good early," laughed Troy. No--But then, Those "AMAZING METS", amazingly, fell apart.
New York's Brian Lawrence got the start for The Mets. The same Brian Lawrence that Our Washington Nationals traded Vinny Castilla to San Diego for, in late 2005. A Pitcher that NEVER threw ONE INNING for Washington--injured on the first day of Spring Training, 2006. Four singles, one walk and a key two run double by Brian Schneider quickly tied this game back up in the 4th. And, just as swiftly--sent Lawrence to the showers. From there--New York was done for the evening.
At times, THEY LOOKED LIKE THE BAD NEWS BEARS. Nothing worse than back to back errors in the game breaking 6th. Having fought back with that 4 run 4th and one run 5th to take the lead--Now, Brian Schneider was on first with a walk issued by Scott Schoeneweis. FLop was pinch hitting for Saul Rivera. Felipe Lopez would hit a routine grounder to the usually reliable David Wright at third base. A knocked baseball that incredibly--went right under his glove into left field for a error. Schneider moving to second. Then, The KeyStone Cops Play of The Game. Nook Logan would bunt--decently--a slow roller right back to Schoeneweis. The Mets Pitcher turned to throw the ball to the only base he could possibly make an out--first base. His throw was RIGHT ON THE MONEY. Yet, Somehow--Someway--Luis Castillo MISSED THE TOSS. A Baseball that appeared to go right past his glove!! Really, it was AMAZING!! You had to laugh. Troy & I chuckling over the mistake. Sohna incredulous over the sloppiness.
A Crucial Error (charged to Schoeneweis for some reason) that found the ball know rattling around in the right field corner. New York's Right Fielder Lastings Milledge slow in recovering the mistake. And, The MERRY-GO-ROUND in operation for Washington. The Crowd waving EVERYONE HOME!!! Schneider scored, FLop scored and Logan was RACING AROUND and WANTED TO SCORE. But, Third Base Coach Tim Tolman wouldn't allow it. Finally, The Mets had returned the baseball to the infield.
Really, were these THE METS? The First Place Mets--now losers of 5 out of 6? This Comedy of Errors directly lead to another 4 run inning--as Wily Mo Pena would score Logan on a chopper back to the mound. As easy out for The Mets if Jorge Sosa (now pitching) had just thrown the baseball right to his catcher Mike DiFelice. An indecision that allowed Nook to score under the late tag--thanks to Sosa holding the ball indecisively. A ruled fielder's choice that was another error--this one of the mental kind. Later followed by Ronnie Belliard knocking another RBI Ground Out to score Ryan Zimmerman.
With the score now 9-4, FLop would double off the wall in the 7th and score on a looper to right by Logan. A sure RBI hit that, for some reason--Tolman elected to stop Lopez at third. A signal--Felipe would have no part of. The Mets Lastings Milledge had conceded FLop scoring when he picked up the baseball. Lopez--RIGHTLY--ran through the stop sign. Then, as Our Number 7 attempted to steal second base--New York Catcher Ramon Castro tossed his throw just in front of the bag. For some reason--Jose Reyes lost his balance and was forced to sit back on his rear end as Nook slid into the base. Odd really. Was he afraid of getting hurt? Falling down--Reyes had no shot at catching the baseball, as it scooted into centerfield--while Logan scooted to third. How About Those "Amazing" Mets?
Finally, came the Final Blow. With Washington's fans now giddy with delight--Ryan Church stepped to the plate to pinch hit for Luis Ayala. But, before Logan's run scoring bunt--Our Manager Manny Acta had Justin Maxwell in the on deck circle. Sidearm/Underarm thrower Joe Smith was on the mound for New York. As I said to Troy and Sohna--you have to let MY MAIN MAN!! hit in this situation. Joe Smith's upswing will bring the baseball right into his hitting zone. Manny must have heard me. As, Our Number 19 was sent to the plate and IMMEDIATELY LAUNCHED A LASER into The Washington Bullpen for the final runs of the evening. A two run, pinch hit shot, that gave Our Washington Nationals an overwhelming 12-4 lead.
This one was in the bag. An advantage that left those Nationals Fans in attendance extemely happy. None more so than The African Queen. As we walked to our seats for the beginning of tonight's affair--Richard (Our Favorite Usher) presented Sohna with a Special Birthday Card. Then, at customary First Pitch--her Boyfriend--SCREECH!!! stopped by to Sing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" and grab a smooch or two--or three. Clint and The NatPack offered Sohna the opportunity to participate in The Southwest Flyaway. She picked Ryan Zimmerman. Unfortunately, not Ryan Church!!
Later--in the 2nd inning--Iris & Biff along with Colleen & Jeff invited us over for a special dinner--cooked by Iris. Along with a Special Birthday Cake--put together by Colleen. The African Queen was touched, even teary eyed. She was having a remarkable Birthday at RFK STADIUM!! The looks and glances at many walking to and fro around our little party at Iris & Biff's seats--quite funny. We began telling everybody--this was The Club Level Experience.
September 17th, 2007 was a wonderful evening at The Old Ballyard. Our Washington Nationals produced a satisfying victory. While Our Friends produced an OVERWHELMING Ballpark Adventure for Sohna on her Birthday. You can say what you want about our fun--but its The Friendships that make coming to each and every baseball game for Our Washington Nationals--worthwhile. Yes, Our Friends are Amazing.
Nothing Beats them. Nothing. That and Crushing Those AMAZING METS!!
Do you think New York will seek Revenge Tomorrow Night??!!
Game Notes & Highlights:
Jonathan Albaladejo was called upon to clean up the mess laid out by Tim Redding Tonight. His settling down of The New York Bats for 1.1 innings gave Our New Number 53 his First Major League Victory. In fact, Our Bullpen threw 5 complete scoreless innings in this game. Since Saturday night, against The Atlanta Braves--The Boys From The Pen have tossed 11.1 consecutive scoreless innings. Where would Our Washington Nationals be without a decent bullpen? Lifesavers and Gamesavers are the only way to describe Our Staff.
The only other time Our Washington Nationals have scored 12 runs in any game at RFK was this past August 4th--when they crushed The St.Louis Cardinals 12-1.
FLop showed some life tonight as a mid-game replacement. Felipe Lopez reached base both times to the plate and scored twice.
When Our Washington Nationals first rallied in the 4th to tie the ballgame, Robert Fick was at third base--Brian Schneider on second with one out. New Mets Pitcher Aaron Sele threw a pitch that just got past New York Catcher Paul LoDuca. With the baseball just a foot behind LoDuca and Ryan Langerhans at the plate waving the stop sign to Fick--Robert charged too far down the third base line--then slipped returning to the bag. A mistake that proved costly when Paul LoDuca fired a bullet to David Wright at third base. A second out of the inning and RALLY KILLER--when Langerhans grounded to Shawn Green at First Base to end the inning. Fick was booed lustily for his mental error. Fortunately--his teammates picked him up later.
In the top of the second--Our Washington Nationals executed a run down play very poorly. LoDuca was on second base after a double. Milledge grounded right to D'angelo Jimenez at shortstop. He had Lastings trapped between 2nd and 3rd. But, no one took control. A toss to Ryan Zimmerman, a toss to Ronnie Belliard, a toss back to Jimenez and three rundowns finally retired the illusive LoDuca. But, not before Milledge ran all the way to second--safely. Each time, the fielder for Washington let his toss go to the next fielder, while LoDuca was too far away from them. No way anyone could quickly retire the runner. Stupid Baseball. An effort that needs to be worked on.
Of course The Mets fielding got even worse in the 8th--when Jose Reyes--one of the best shortstops in the game--dropped a routine grounder hit by Austin Kearns. Boy, did New York EVER LOOK BAD TONIGHT!! Only their 6th loss at RFK Stadium in 26 trys--since the return of baseball to Washington in 2005.
My Main Man's!! second career pinch hit home run was his 14th Dinger of the season--increasing his career high RBI Total to 62.
Not many on hand tonight at RFK Stadium. The Announced Crowd of 18,678. Many of whom WERE NOT VOCAL METS FANS. Yes, there were more Washington Fans tonight. Surprisingly, with The Redskins playing in Philadelphia on Monday Night Football.
Finally, The 4th Inning Presidents Race was a classic. Teddy came out of the tunnel down the right field line--well out in front. Then, as his fellow "Rushmores" inched closer--Teddy took a tumble. Tom followed with a Marvelous FACE PLANT, tripping over Roosevelt. Abe Lincoln also getting tangled in the mess. George Washington was able to skirt the domino effect and easily danced to victory. George Washington now with an insurmountable 32 Wins to Thomas Jefferson's 24 Victories with just six games to go. GW will win The 2007 Season. Now, the only question is--Will Teddy get his ONE? Really, its also AMAZING that each time Teddy gets the lead--in any race--the sight of THE ENTIRE CROWD rising down the first base line in anticipation of a possible Victory--incredible to view. People Care. Everyone wants to be there--When Teddy Wins!! Remarkable Actually.
PS--Many thanks to all Our Section 320 Friends and those who stopped by to wish The African Queen a Happy Birthday Tonight. We appreciated the thoughts. Sohna and I also got a kick out of Kevin--a loyal reader of The Nats320 blog--who introduced himself to us while we were standing near his seats behind Home Plate early in the game. Thanks for letting us know--you enjoy our efforts.
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Pablo Martinez Monsivais