Friday, May 02, 2008
The Night The Lights Went Out
When the lights at New Nationals Park dimmed at 8:56PM this evening--it's too bad they didn't stay off the rest of the night. As from the third inning on--this affair between Our Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates was awful.
John Lannan threw 85 pitches in just three innings. He got hammered for six runs, five of which were earned.
Even when Washington made a slight comeback to try to get back into this game--our bullpen kept giving runs back to The Pirates.
Mike O'Connor charged with four earned runs.
Joel Hanrahan was all over the place--allowing two inherited runners of O'Connor's to score--and giving up one himself.
Only "The Human Rain Delay" pitched a scoreless outing. Jesus Colome retiring Pittsburgh in order in the 9th.
This final 11-4 drubbing of Our Washington Nationals was not pretty. Even tonight's 25 minute light failure delay could not help The Home Team. A stoppage in play that forced the postponement of the scheduled Friday Night Fireworks after the completion of the ballgame. The surrounding neighborhood of New Nationals Park has a noise curfew of some sort. Fireworks can not be let off--as a show--after 11PM.
On a night the lights went out--most fans Of Our Washington Nationals may well have wished--they never came back on.
Game Notes & Highlights
At least the cancellation of the fireworks lead to a funny moment in the bottom of the ninth. With very few fans remaining in the park--a group behind The Nationals First Base Dugout began chanting--"We Want The Fireworks!!" Clap, Clap, Clap Clap. "We Want The Fireworks!!" The ballpark was so quiet at that time--virtually the entire first base side of New Nationals Park joined in. The chant getting so loud--Odalis Perez turned around to watch from the home team dugout. At least the moment gave a brief period of fun--in an otherwise forgettable baseball game.
The 14 Foot Wall that runs from right field toward center--where the Out Of Town Scoreboard is placed--deflected two sure Home Runs this evening. The Pirates Nate McLouth got ahold of a John Lannan pitch in the top of the third and hammered it over Austin Kearns head in right. The baseball landed just a few feet to the left of Washington's Bullpen--but off the wall. No Home Run--the ball in play. And, Austin actually made a fine toss to almost throw out McLouth at the second base.
Later in the bottom half of the 3rd, FLop drilled a Phil Dumantrait pitch to deep right centerfield. A sure home run until this batted ball also bounced off the wall. A few feet more to the left--it would have been a homer. These were the first times I recall the Outfield Wall actually making a difference in the game.
The Pirates Jose Bautista did slug two home runs this evening. His first--a three run shot off Lannan--landed in the grass being grown under the Batters Eye in Dead Centerfield. The first ball to land in that spot at New Nationals Park. Of course a fan sitting in The Red Porch seats jumped the railing to enter the grassy knoll to retrieve the baseball. He was summarily escorted from the ballpark for being in an unauthorized area. Security was booed while taking the man out of the stadium.
Wil Nieves continued his hot hitting with a two run RBI double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Other than those points--there is really not much more to say about this game.
Tomorrow--Retro Baseball--The Homestead Grays Versus The Homestead Grays. During the height of Negro League Major League Baseball--The Homestead Grays used both Forbes Field (Pittsburgh) and Griffith Stadium (Washington) as home fields--during the same season. Both The Pirates and Our Nationals will wear vintage style uniforms tomorrow--in celebration of The Grays rich history.
Tonight's InGame Photo--(AP) Charles Dharapak