(Editor’s Note: Before I begin this post, I want to wish my sister Debbie Brown Crocker a wonderful 60th birthday today. She’s the best. Period. Debbie has a wonderful spirit – just like our Mom – and holds the family together in ways large and small now that both our parents have passed away. Have a great day, Debbie. Love you – DJB. Now, back to the regularly scheduled entry into the More to Come… online journal.)
Just before the beginning of each Nationals baseball game, the announcer booms, “It’s a beautiful day for baseball.” It doesn’t matter if it is 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity. Or if you’ve just endured a 71 minute rain delay, as was the case last evening at the old ballpark. Our Nats take the “any day at the ballpark is a great day” approach to life. And hey, I’ll buy it.
Last evening, our home field announcer may have even known what he was talking about. After a severe thunderstorm (we had hail in Silver Spring), the air cleared out, the humidity dropped, a slight breeze kicked in, and…it was beautiful.
Oh, and we had a fantastic double rainbow to enjoy for about 15 minutes over the right field/first base stands.
See, even God is a baseball fan. She loves it and wanted to add her handiwork last evening.
I haven’t written much about the Nats this year, because – frankly – I haven’t wanted to jinx them. They snuck in a bit under the radar (if that’s possible for a team that has won its division two years out of the past four). The Cubs and Mets were all the rage. The Cubs are good, but wake me up when they win something. And hey, I told you last year that the Mets were going to rue the day (year) they burned out all those promising young arms. If you want the exact quote, here’s what I wrote during Game 1 of last year’s World Series:
Let me see, where have I heard, “This is a talented young team with a great pitching staff who will be good for a long, long time”? Oh yeah, that would be the Nationals. Be careful, Mets. Stuff happens.
But the Nats have played more consistently than the Cubs, and yes indeed stuff has happened to the Mets. No gloating…it was just as plain as the nose on your face.
Last evening was a perfect example of why the Nats are doing so well. Their #4 starter – Tanner Roark – just pitched 8-plus innings of 5-hit shutout baseball, and the bullpen did its job in the 9th. Daniel Murphy – the MVP of the first half in all of baseball in my opinion – is nursing a sore leg, so his replacement – Stephen Drew – only comes in and hits three doubles. Zimmerman is out (again) with an injury, and his replacement – Clint Robinson – is mashing the ball. Only a diving catch by the stellar Pirates outfield kept him from breaking open the game earlier in the evening. Danny Espinosa is finally playing the position he was made for, and his hitting and aggressiveness on the base paths have been something to behold. Anthony Rendon, who has been so-so this year, clobbered a home run. All-Star Wilson Ramos should start doing Lasik surgery commercials. If Bryce ever starts playing like BRYCE, watch out. Strasburg and Roark have stifled a red-hot Pirates team, and today they get to face Scherzer (just another National League All-Star). This is fun.
But remember, it is only July. Things can happen. Injuries definitely happen. (We’re only a Ramos trip to the DL to having José Lobatón – of the .191 batting average – behind the plate every day.) So I’ll enjoy what we have now, and see what happens.
Anyway, I have two games this week – one with Andrew to see the Dodgers. (We’re going to troll our Dodgers fan Claire during the game!)
It’s a beautiful day for baseball! Indeed!
More to come…
Image: Last evening’s rainbow at Nats Stadium – proving it is a beautiful evening for basebal (photo by DJB)l