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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

I Want More Baseball

Less than 24 hours (actually...it was less than 12 hours...) after leaving Nationals Park on Saturday, I was walking back through the gates on Sunday. Dream weekend? It was certainly wonderful for me! A few hours before heading over to Nationals Park, we went to the top of the Hampton Inn we were staying at - that is literally right across the street from the Park - and took some photos of Nationals Park from the rooftop deck and bar.

Nationals Park from atop the Hampton Inn
It was almost just as hot on Sunday as it had been on Saturday - you know, as opposed to 110 the heat index was only about 109! HA! We hadn't planned to go to the park too far ahead of the game's 1:35 start time...but then the Nationals announced the Mystery Grab Bags and well...I couldn't not get there at least a wee bit early. They were selling grab bags to benefit the Dream Foundation and each bag had a baseball signed by one of the Nationals players or Dusty Baker. 

I happily handed over my money and selected a bag...wondering who I'd get. I'd planned to wait until I got to my seat to investigate, but the girls selling them let me know that if I got a baseball signed by Jonathan Papelbon, I could trade. Ha-ha! I opened my bag to reveal a baseball signed by Yusmeiro Petit - one of the Nationals relief pitchers. Not who I was hoping for...but still a signed baseball, right? 

And then my Dad announced that he was going to buy a Mystery Grab Bag too...and that he'd just give me the ball in his...because what was he going to do with it? I; of course, encouraged this decision. After buying his bag he stepped away from me and opened it - prompting me to jump forward to try and peer into the bag and see who'd signed the baseball. He pulled back from my advance and grinned...making me ask "who signed it?!?" He smiled and announced "Scherzer" and I hopped up and down and hollered like I didn't have any sense. At least the girls selling the baseballs liked my enthusiasm....

Baseballs signed by Max Scherzer & Yusmeiro Petit
Thankful for shade on another blistering day...
Now - I bought the tickets for this game months ago - at least back in June, I'm pretty sure. I guess I was delusional when I bought them because our seats were on Row Z, which just so happened to be in the blaring sun! Oops! The usher at the entrance to our section told us we could sit under the overhang as long as no one showed up to claim the seats. We settled into the seats located in the shade and prayed that no one would claim them. For the most part it worked out fine; on a day as hot as Sunday, a lot of people either bailed on tickets or just didn't buy them at all. We managed to stay on the back row on the bottom level, comfortably under the shade - so that it only felt like it was about 99 as opposed to 109! 

Since we'd arrived almost a full hour and half before the game, we just stayed seated in the shade and watched the recaps of all the games from the day before being played out on the big screen. We also got pretty interested in watching the grounds crew prepare the field for the game.... However, I guess this wasn't quite enough entertainment for my Dad because he decided to make some laps around the stadium. A short while after he disappeared, my cell phone rang and he said "hey - look over here - and then take my picture!" He'd gone up to the top deck and was waving at us wildly from the other side of the stadium!

My Dad - posing for a photo from across the stadium.
I like these seats. Perhaps a contender for next year's games...
Getting in some stretches pre-game.
At long last Tanner Roark stepped onto the pitcher's mound and the game was underway! The Braves thought they'd get some points on the board early with some singles, but good defense on the Nationals part got us out of the top of the first with no runs. The Nationals bats started their assault early and didn't let up - Trea Turner doubled and then scooted home when Ben Revere's pop fly turned into a single on the Braves errant throw - making the score 1-0 Nationals.

Ben scored from second on an opposite field RBI double courtesy of Bryce Harper; back in the line-up after a full five days off with neck stiffness - and upped the score to 2-0 Nationals. Bryce made it to third on Wilson Ramos' ground out and then sped home to make it 3-0 Nationals after Anthony Rendon's sacrifice fly. The score of 3-0 Nationals held through the top of the third; Enciarte doubled and then would later score to make it 3-1 Nationals - but that would be the only run the Braves would score all day, courtesy of some brilliant pitching by Tanner Roark and the excellent defense behind him.

The Nationals take the field!
Tanner Roark takes the mound against the Braves.
The Rowing Presidents...ha-ha!
George, Herbie & Tom won...no doubt George's boating skills helped...
Abe, Teddy & Bill...finally crossing the finish line!
In honor of US Olympians competing in rowing...
Wilson Ramos stepped up to bat in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded and hit a sacrifice fly that scored Trea Turner and made the score 4-1 Nationals. Anthony Rendon came to bat next and smashed a three run home run, clearing the bases and making the score 7-1 Nationals - way to go Tony!

Tanner pitched through the seventh inning and Ben Revere added to the Nationals lead in the seventh when he scored from second on a pop fly by Wilson Ramos. After the seventh, it was 8-1 Nationals and Oliver Perez came in to pitch the eighth, getting three quick outs and taking us into the bottom of the eighth holding strong at 8-1. Chris Heisey padded the Nationals lead with a one run blast in the eighth and that would be the final score: 9-1 Nationals. Matt Belisle would close out the game in the top of the ninth and get Washington the series win over the Braves.

Seventh Inning Snacks from Fluffy Thoughts
The Buffalo - in sugar cookie form!
Tooling around with my camera during the eighth inning...
Neat shot - huh?
So - despite the blistering heat - it was a great weekend at the ballpark and I'd love to do an entire baseball weekend in the 2017 season. My younger sister and I are hoping to plan one of those; so here's to future fun at the ballpark. Perhaps the Nationals can get a sweep?

Screech waves the flag - Nats Win!
Another Curly W in the books
Tony Two-Bags...talking about his three run homer!

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