Fireworks are Overrated – Baseball Though, All the Rage

Remember a few posts ago when I said things were going to get picture heavy? Well, somehow this post has even more pictures than the last…although I’ll reason that it’s because my little sister went to the game with me and we had ourselves a grand old time taking pictures right, left and center (field).
July Fourth at the Ballpark = Excitement
Too much excitement? Not possible!

I snagged tickets to spend July 4th at Nationals Park way back in late May and the plan was that my Mom would join me for this game; my Dad would be occupied with work and so that was all going to work out just fine. When I decided to get the tickets, my Mom strongly requested that I get tickets that would be under the overhang…it was certainly going to be blazing on the fourth and she didn’t want to sit in the sun and bake. Well, with this in mind I got on the Nationals website to look for tickets, saw that there were two on the front row of Section 225, bought them in my wild excitement and then realized…there was no overhang. Eek!

It turned out that none of that really mattered for two reasons: the first being that my little sister decided a week ahead of the Fourth to come home for the weekend and so the second game ticket went to her…and she wasn’t too concerned about sitting in the sun. The second reason was that there was no sun to be found on the Fourth of July. Absolutely not even a drop of sunshine. Honestly, we were hoping and praying that we would get to go to the game at all – there was a 100% chance of rain on Monday and so just getting through (most) of the game without getting soaked was in and of itself a miracle.

District Donuts, chocolate milk & baseball – all splendid things.
Fourth of July at the Ballpark!

The baseball game on July fourth was at 11:05, so Lindsey and I headed into DC in the wee hours (and by wee hours I mean 7:30, ha-ha) of the morning….after a customary pit stop at Starbucks, of course! We rode the Metro into DC, which is always an adventure in and of itself – let’s be honest; the DC Metro is like the apocaplyse…one day there is a fire, the next day there is a flood…it’s only a matter of time before the plague of frogs shows up. We survived our excursion on the Metro and spilled out into the….gray light of the early morning. Wow – warm sunlight would really have sounded better, but gray light was what we were dealt, so out we went and along the street up to the stadium.

With the game starting so early, we arrived at the ballpark shortly after 9:15…and the first place we went (after the bathroom, ha!) was to test District Donuts! District Donuts has had a pop-up stand on the Center Field concourse for a couple weeks now and it seemed like a game this early was the perfect time to test their wares – so we grabbed six (mini) donuts, two chocolate milks and settled ourselves along the bar top behind the outfield and ate our donuts and watched batting practice. Once we were done, we hit up the Team Store where Lindsey did far more damage than I and then we made a lap around the park so Lindsey could get some pictures… We finally made our way to our seats around 10:30!

The view from Section 225
The Nationals monster that I created – snapping pictures all around the park.
Mad Max (far right) doing his warm-up thing(s)…
Stretches all around…

The pre-game celebrations were all quite patriotic – as you’d certainly expect. The first pitch was thrown out by the Commandant of Midshipmen from the Naval Academy, the Secretary of the Air Force delivered the game ball and when it was time for the National Anthem…the largest United States shaped flag I’ve ever seen was unfurled on the field. The Park was filled despite the always looming threat that at any moment the skies would open up and rain would pour down on all of us… After the pre-game, Max Scherzer stepped onto the mound against the Brewers and the game was underway!

Happy Birthday America!
Lindsey gives a thumbs up for the Secretary of the Air Force!
The Presidents race along together…
George took the win – which seems right, doesn’t it?
Teddy, George & Bill…
Abe, Herbie & Tom…

There isn’t much to say about the game – it was a pitcher’s duel – no doubt about it. There was some “excitement” in the first inning when the Brewer’s Ryan Braun batted out of order and was issued a rule book guidelines out; the third out for the Brewer’s in the first inning. Apparently Jonathan Lucroy was meant to bat third on the line-up cards but I guess Braun was eager to get a hit…and so the Nationals called the Brewers on it and got the third out. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t matter in the end.

The game was scoreless through four innings, strikeouts and pop outs and excellent defense on the part of both teams meant that nothing much was happening on the scoreboard. The fifth inning was when the score got the one and only shake-up; Max Scherzer allowed Martin Maldonado to hit a no doubt about it, out of the park homerun to make the score 0-1 Brewers. And that was the only run the Brewers needed to win the game – the Nationals couldn’t get a hit to save their lives…or the game.

July Fourth Baseball Sibling Shot!
Trying to work the rally hat magic…
Murphy stepping in to take a shot at getting the Nationals on the board…

The eighth inning arrived and with it some sprinkling raindrops began… Stephen Drew hit a massive shot that looked so very close to going out of the park, but fell over the warning track and was caught. Daniel Murphy had been given the day off but stepped up in the eighth to try and get the team on the board but his long shot also fell short over the warning track. That seemed to be the theme for the Nationals on the fourth – it was good, but just not quite good enough. As the ninth inning began, the rain started to fall in earnest and Lindsey and I pulled on our ponchos and opened the umbrella…hunkering down underneath it to cheer for the Nationals.

I certainly wouldn’t have said this last year…but when Papelbon came striding across the field in the ninth, I cheered for him. Heck – I’m pretty sure 95% of the people in attendance cheered for him. The bullpen has struggled a bit while Pap was on the DL for the past fifteen days, so perhaps we were all just thrilled to see our closer again? He closed it out in spectacular fashion, getting the outs 1-2-3 with a flourish! Sadly, the Nationals couldn’t rally in the bottom of the ninth and so the game ended without a Curly W.

Rally hat magic…it malfunctioned in the rain…
As soon as the game ended…on went the tarp…
A last look at the field before heading out…

All in all…not a great game. A great time though? Definitely! I got to spend the Fourth of July at the ballpark with my best friend, who also happens to be my little sister. We had a grand time, in spite of the loss and we survived the trip on the Metro. What’s not to love about a day like that?

Decked out in her Nationals gear!


2 thoughts on “Fireworks are Overrated – Baseball Though, All the Rage

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