Monday, August 18, 2014

An Exciting Day at Nats Park

Diane, who I volunteer with at Food and Friends, offered me seats that her husband got from work. Mark and I went (she and her husband unfortunately could not make because he was out of town longer than expected). The seats were great. Very close to the field so I have a whole lot of pictures of the game to post. I’ll post them over the next couple of days. I also have to finish up the trip to New York as well.

This sums up what the game was like:

Sunday at Nationals Park was not for the faint of heart. The Washington Nationals put themselves in a hole thanks to sloppy defensive play. They took the lead late when the Pittsburgh Pirates made defensive miscues of their own. Struggling closer Rafael Soriano erased all of that with a three-run ninth-inning meltdown. But, only fittingly, Pirates closer Mark Melancon blew a save in the ninth, too, sending the game to extra innings. Four lead changes in all.

The Nats clawed there way back scoring three runs in the bottom of the 7th after some very bad fielding on the part of the Pirates (each team had two errors and two wild pitches). I turned to Mark in the bottom of the 8th and asked if it was going to be Soriano. He said yes. Adding we just have to grin through it. He been to the game on Friday and Soriano had problems that night too. From the Post:

The game, however, wouldn’t have reached that point had Soriano not faltered. The Nationals scored three runs in the seventh inning to take a 4-2 lead, and Soriano inherited that cushion when he took the mound to start the ninth. Sunday was his fourth appearance in five days. And from the start, he was off.

My problem with Soriano is that he allows too many people on base. He’s been having problems since the break and this is not a good time for your closer to be having problems. But thankfully the Nats were able to battle through this:

This set the stage for the final innings of theater. When the Nationals had a two-run lead before Soriano’s collapse, Williams didn’t want to use Werth, who hadn’t swung a bat in a week until this weekend. With the Nationals trailing in the ninth, however, Werth was needed. Werth tested his shoulder in the indoor batting cages and felt he could contribute. And he did, scoring both the game-tying and game-winning runs to extend the longest winning streak of the season.

Werth, who entered the game in the ninth inning for his first action in a week while resting a balky right shoulder, hit a rocket double off the left field wall to lead off the 11th and spark the winning rally. Denard Span then battled reliever Brandon Cumpton for a hard-fought groundout to first that moved Werth to third. (Scott) Hairston, the last non-catcher position player on the bench, lifted a high first-pitch fastball to left field to win the game.

And that was the day at Nats Park.

Scott Hairston reacts to the Gatorade bath he got for hitting in the winning run.

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