Saturday, March 30th.
I started the morning attending my favorite cycle class then ran a few errands. I was still debating about going to the 1:05p game because I also had plans in Reston later in the evening, so rushing to the ballpark was the last thing on my mind. On the other hand, it would be the first Saturday game of the season, it was still Opening Weekend, and the forecast was calling for clear skies and a high of 77˚. I knew if I didn’t go to the game, I would regret it and maybe not spend as much time outside enjoying the weather.
So I decided to go, going all the way in by choosing to walk the mile to the metro toward Navy Yard – Ballpark.
I arrived late, missing the 106.7 FM Radio Lanyard giveaway. It was the 2nd of a 3-game series against the Mets. Stephen Strasburg (#37) was up against Noah Syndergaard aka Thor. A nice match up for a beautiful day!
The score was 4-1, and the bottom of the 3rd inning.
Victor Robles (#16) made his mark, hitting our first home run of the season to left field. 4-2. Juan Soto cleaned that up with a base hit that brought Adam Eaton home. 4-3.
That was it! We seemed to have gained some momentum, closing in on the Mets to just a 1-run deficit.
But then Robles the same guy who made mistakes on Opening Day and earlier in this game, but had just secured the team’s first home run of the season, got his @$$ tagged off the bag on 1st base! He’s out. *sigh*
I’d like to pause here for a second to just let you know that Adam “Spanky” Eaton is like my favorite “right now” player!
Okay back to my story.
Soto comes to the rescue with a ground ball in the middle where there wasn’t a Met in sight. Soto hustle’s toward 2nd base. The Mets’ Conforto throws the ball toward 2nd base in an attempt to get Soto out, but over throws it and Soto is safe on 2nd base. This results in a double for Soto and an error for the Mets. Man I love how this game can change at any minute!
It’s the bottom of the 6th inning, Kurt Suzuki (#28 and Jayson Werth’s old number) is at bat. He hits a fly ball to center field and is caught, but it’s just enough to bring Soto home to tie the game. 4-4.
Like I said, it can change at any minute. As has been the theme since last season, I don’t know what happened or where the time went, but at first the score was 4-4 and now at the top of the 8th it’s 7-4. When did the Mets score 3 more runs?! Oh that’s right…as our bullpen collapsed again. Seriously, our bullpen is trash at the moment. However, I can’t remember a time when we actually had a solid one.
Anyway, after Strasburg pitched his 6 innings we ended up bidding time and not productively. Relief pitchers Tony Sipp, Trevor Rosenthal, Kyle Barraclough, Matt Grace, and closer Wander Suero would all make visits to the pitchers mound.
Here’s the thing: not ANYONE of them pitched for more than 1 inning. I’VE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH PIECE MEALING TO GET THROUGH A GAME IN MY LIFE! We have to get this together. We cannot have starting pitchers that keep runs to a minimum all for it to be erased by the rest of the pitching staff.
Anyway, then it was 11-4.
Eventually we got what I thought was a perfect moment to come back. Bases were loaded, I’ve forgotten what inning this was at this point, but Davey had finally made a smart decision by having Matt Adams hit in place of Brian Dozier. I still hadn’t seen Dozier produce anything worthwhile so to me this was great. Big City was hitting and I was hype. The Mets decided on a pitching change mid-hype. Fine…get it over with. However, Matt’s bat just didn’t get the ball out of the field. Ball height was there, not enough depth.
We loaded the bases again in the bottom of the 9th inning. I paid attention this time…it was go hard or go home. When at home, the bottom of the 9th is the last chance for the Nationals to score runs. I mean we didn’t have a chance in hell of winning this game but we could at least try to lessen the gap, right?
The bases looked something like Trea Turner on first, Victor Robles on second, and Andrew Stevenson on third. We had only 1 out. Anthony Rendon was up next. Rendon was walked to first, which meant Stevenson walked on home.
The score was 11-5.
Juan Soto (#22) was next. It was a tight high pressured situation. It was a moment reminiscent of Bryce Harper. Twenty-year old outfielder at bat, with the bases loaded, and the potential to close the gap. But he struck out.
First baseman Ryan Zimmerman (#11) aka Mr. Walkoff aka Mr. Franchise came next. This guy is an OG. He’s the the ONLY remaining National from the 2005 inaugural season. He hits to left field off the wall and it’s just enough for Robles, Turner, and Rendon to come home…in that order.
The score was now 11-8 and would remain that way. Suzuki (#28) got the last out for the team. So…we didn’t win but we did take a 7-run deficit to come out behind by only 3!
There were 33,764 other people enjoying the game and the weather with me that day. The game was 3 hours and 50 mins long.