Saturday, June 27, 2009

There Really Wasn't Much To Cheer About

Even Ryan Zimmerman probably appreciated the effort. There wasn't much else to cheer about this evening.

The latest re-incarnation of "Roy Hobbs" slammed out the longest hit baseball I have ever witnessed at Camden Yards. Too bad it was foul. The Baltimore Orioles Matt Wieters unloaded on a Joel Hanrahan 94 MPH Fastball that went so deep off his powerful bat, the screaming baseball was out of Orioles Park in a split second. Over the packed crowd, past the right field pavilion, onto Eutaw Street while scattering fans. And maybe, just maybe--bouncing off the bottom of The B & O Warehouse. But from The African Queen's and my vantage point on the first base side at the pitcher's mound--we lost sight on the baseball's downward flight streaking past the stands.

45,024 were in absolute awe over the display. But when First Base Umpire Doug Eddings signaled FOUL!! by raising both his arms, then ruling the ball went to the right of the yellow foul pole--Not A Home Run, Just Another Strike--it was the only time all evening when I would have accepted The Orioles Scoring ANY RUN. Couldn't stand the other eleven scores plated by Baltimore against Washington tonight. But this game was SO OUT OF HAND, I could appreciate Matt Wieters' accomplishing a feat I have personally never seen in Baltimore.

"The Natural" showed all his potential on that one swing of the bat. What a pretty swing from a 23-Year Old Rookie!!

Too bad Our Washington Nationals effort tonight was not so beautiful. This game got so bad in the bottom of the 6th inning that I turned to Sohna and mentioned--If Melvin Mora hits a home run right here (for Baltimore), it will be the first time that I can remember being at a game when ANY TEAM has scored more than 10 runs in one inning? Do we really want to see that too?

Thankfully, that awful scenario didn't happen. Baltimore scored just eight.

But a whole lot of bad baseball was on display this evening--especially in the pitching and fielding department. Ross Detwiler was really shaky, struggling all night. And we were really surprised when Our Manager Manny Acta sent Our Number 48 back out to the mound down 3-1 for bottom of the 6th. Ross didn't look sharp. And when he gave up two quick hits to the first two batters he faced--the floodgates opened--thanks to Joel Hanrahan and Ron Villone pitching their worst baseball of the year. And defended by Cristian Guzman making a silly error extending this awful frame.

There is really not much to say about this game--other than the fact that Camden Yards still looks as nice as the very first day it opened on April 6th, 1992. Sohna and I spent the final three innings of this lopsided affair chatting with these three ladies sitting directly behind us. They had never been to Nationals Park. And we have convinced them to check it out personally over the July 4th Weekend when The Atlanta Braves visit The Nation's Capital.

Score One For Us For Ticket Sales.

Final Score from Orioles Park where despite a near sellout crowd there were not many folks sporting The Curly "W"--The Baltimore Orioles 11 and Our Washington Nationals 1. Loss Number 50 in 71 Games was basically a blowout and a No Show effort on the part of Our DC Fans. A Scattering of Red & Blue throughout Camden Yards--but nothing like a few years ago when seemingly 10,000 Washington Fans traveled up The Parkway to see DC's Team. One group of college age Nats Fans running into us after the game stating that between us and them: "We were about the only six folks here tonight rooting for Washington."

There were more than not--but certainly not many.

No DC Fan probably missed anything anyway. There really wasn't much to cheer about for fans of Our Washington Nationals.

Except for that potential Gigantic Homer off the bat of Young Matt Wieters--that was really pretty.

By the way--WE LOVED The Orioles Friday Night Fireworks. A terrific performance. Lasting more than 10 minutes, choreographed with music and being set off right in front of everyone from just over the Centerfield Wall at Camden Yards--the backdrop of The B & O Warehouse and Baltimore Skyline is accentuated by the display. And being able to actually watch the streamers fire off and soar into the air--makes it all the more special. We understand that at Nationals Park the fireworks are set off near The Anacostia River outside the stadium. And there is probably nothing that can be done to change that. But watching the pyrotecnics take off, not just explode in the sky above--really makes a difference. We really enjoyed The Fireworks Show at Oriole Park.

As every Nationals Fan probably knows, you can purchase your Curly "W" Pretzel at Noah's Pretzels at Nationals Park. A staple that has become well received on South Capitol Street. Well, you can also now purchase a Noah's "O" Pretzel at Camden Yards. Noah's Pretzels' Owner, Dwayne Herndon, took over exclusive Pretzel Sales at Baltimore's Baseball Park this season. And Sohna and I went to visit them tonight. It's funny seeing virtually the exact same employees, like Seth (shown above wearing the orange & black) selling pretzels for fans of Our Washington Nationals, and doing the same for fans of The Baltimore Orioles.

Sales so good for Dwayne's personal efforts to promote education and funding for those with Autism--during the bottom of the 6th inning at Camden Yards--The Fan Of The Game in Baltimore is brought to you by Noah's Pretzels. We all chatted for some time, before and after tonight's game.

Finally, before the game, Sohna receiving the love from three Navy Midshipman Football Hunks promoting their upcoming fall season at Marine Corp Stadium in Annapolis. They were pretty cool and into the spirit of it all.

PS--Sohna and I have never experienced worse traffic getting to any game in Baltimore--like ever. We left our house at 2:45PM--hoping to eat an early dinner at a certain sushi bar we enjoy in The Inner Harbor. 2 Hours and 45 Minutes later we finally made it to the parking lot two blocks from Camden Yards (5:30PM for a usual 65 minute drive). Friday afternoon traffic is usually bad, but never this horrible. From 295 in The District to The Baltimore-Washington Parkway, all the way to The Baltimore Beltway (I-695), nothing was moving. I-95 north wasn't any better. We crawled along at 10 miles per hour most of the way--if that--hundreds of complete stops. Like I told Sohna while sitting in traffic--it makes you appreciate just having to go to Nationals Park most of the time anymore--not having to worry about getting to and from a city 40 miles away--especially on a work day--to enjoy Major League Baseball.

Of course going home after the game--we cruised in the normal 65 minutes. No problems whatsover.

Tonight's InGame Photos--Gail Burton (AP)
All Other Photos--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


Edward J. Cunningham said...

I don't think it takes a brain surgeon to see why very few Nats fans take the trouble to go to Camden Yards. On the other hand, Baltimore is not Philadelphia so unless you are acting REALLY boorish, it should be safe to visit.

I suspected that after the emotional and draining victory against the Red Sox the other night, we were due for a letdown on Friday. Hopefully we'll win at least one game on Saturday or Sunday although it's unlikely we'll win both which is the only way the MASN Cup will stay in Washington.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Well, the MASN Cup returns to Baltimore.

According to the 2009 Nationals Media Guide, the Nats started playing the Orioles in 2006 once they moved to D.C. Here's how the Cup has gone:

Baltimore (as owner of MASN) defending Cup holders.
Series: 3-3
Result: Cup remains in Baltimore

Series: Nats 4 O's 2
Result: Cup moves to Washington

Washington defending Cup holders
Series: 3-3
Result: Cup remains in Washington

Washington defending Cup holders
Series (so far): O's 4 Nats 1
Result: Regardless of what happens today, the MASN Cup returns to Baltimore.

Hope the O's keep it in good shape. I'm counting on the Nats (maybe with Strasburg?) to win it back next year!

John Angelos said...

I vote for the Nats fireworks being better. The Orioles ones are pretty weak, with little explosion in the end, and since they are so LOW, there ends up being nothing but smoke. Nats fireworks are the real deal.