Thursday, June 11, 2009
Firsts From Early This Morning
There is nothing like standing between the first and third base dugouts at Nationals Park--nearly everybody in the first few rows with less than 125 of your closest baseball friends--and CLEARLY HEARING THE PHONE RING IN OUR WASHINGTON NATIONALS BULLPEN!!
A telephone over 350 feet away sounding as if it's right next to your ear--and the game is still playing out.
No, that is special, and a first while attending any Major League Baseball Game.
Just like that wonderful sound of baseball popping into a catcher's mitt. This time the gloves being used are inside The Cincinnati Bullpen--another 350 feet or so away beyond the leftfield fence from where everyone is standing and watching the game.
Also a first while attending any Major League Game.
And of course--what could be more special than to be watching a Major League Game in a nearly empty ballpark--and hear Charlie Slowes & Dave Jageler on WFED broadcasting this extra inning affair while you are standing behind home plate?
Yeah, it was one of those nights when the aura surrounding the game outdistances the play on the field. Another rain delay in the bottom of the 9th--this time for two hours and 10 minutes. A re-start at 11:40PM. An announced crowd of 19,790 dwindled to "Friends & Family" Status. The ability to talk or yell at any player on the field--knowing EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the ballpark could hear you. Cincinnati Fans behind the 3rd Base Dugout. Washington Fans behind the 1st Base Dugout. The Front Office of Our Washington Nationals all standing behind home plate in Presidents Club.
And, Oh Yeah, Charlie & Dave getting up to dance in their broadcast booth to Wil Nieves' Salsa Batting Music in the bottom of the 11th. Hysterical when you realize EVERYBODY SAW IT!! Nobody with a better view than Reds' Centerfielder Willy Taveras.
On and on and on Our Washington Nationals and The Cincinnati Reds played. If you lasted through this latest rain delay--you were staying until the end--no matter the bad taste this latest loss left in your mouth.
Final Score from Nationals Park where I doubt anyone that left the ballpark before the re-start felt this game WOULD EVER BE COMPLETED TONIGHT--The Cincinnati Reds 4 and Our Washington Nationals 2 in 12 odd innings. The last four of which where quite intriguing--simply due to the weirdness caused by the lateness of the hour. A lot of firsts early this morning on South Capitol Street--well worth The African Queen and I staying until the 12:50AM finish. Too bad these season's firsts don't include this latest defeat--Number 42 in 57 Games Played.
Just A Few Game Notes & Highlights:
Not a lot of time with an early work call this morning, but Shairon Martis pitched well, allowing a two run homer to Jay Bruce, his only mistake. Mike MacDougal pitched a fabulous two innings of relief in the 10th & 11th--striking out three, throwing nothing but smoke and gaining the attention of Washington Staff standing behind home plate watching.
Again--no offense for Washington. Unable to get runners home from scoring position--including Cristian Guzman standing on 3rd with a triple with one out in the bottom of the 3rd.
Ryan Zimmerman with The Defensive Play of This Game when he dove for a hard stroked smash off the bat of Ramon Hernandez. With the ball nearly past him, and The Z-Man completely stretched out--somehow, someway, Our Number 11 got his glove hand on the ball--snared it--and threw out Hernandez at first base in the bottom of the second.
Finally--and fitting for this odd night--Our Washington Nationals turned a double play in the top of the 12th that resulted in this official scoring: 4-3-6-4-6. Yes, that's right--Ronnie Belliard to Nick Johnson to Cristian Guzman to Belliard to Guzman. Yes, that's pretty cool. Too bad Jason Bergmann followed that fine effort by allowing the game winning hit to Jonny Gomes one batter later.