Monday, April 16, 2007

Freezin' My Nats Off

Oh man. I was one of the 1,000 or so pathetic souls on hand for tonight's 5-1 victory over the Braves. It was raining and 45 degrees, but the 40 mile per hour wind gusts had the wind chill down to 36 degrees. I've been to warmer NFL games in December.

My buddy and I arrived in the fourth inning, late due to a work meeting. To our pleasant surprise, the Nats were up 3-0 despite Matt Chico's shockingly high pitch count. We needed food and shelter, so we headed straight for the Red, Hot and Blue concourse on the 300 level. We got some pulled chicken platters that were nearly blown into the stands by the headwinds howling through the concourse. Fortunately we had MGD bottles to weigh our platters down. After pounding down the food we headed down to the 100 level where my buddy's seats are located. I had to hold onto my hat while walking on the concourse; the whipping wind was making my eyes tear up.

There were only two kinds of people in the stands: the drunk and the stupid. We fell into the latter category, but I have never seen so few people at RFK. Foul balls that made their way into the stands ricocheted several times before finally being retrieved by fleet-footed youngsters. The Dippin' Dots stand had resorted to selling hot chocolate while the knit cap salesman was having a career night.

The Braves scored a run to close to 3-1, but the Nats added two insurance runs in the 8th due to the boobery of Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez, who loaded the bases and then walked the light-hitting Brian Schneider to send Zimmerman home from third. Another run got slapped in on a sacrifice infield single by Chris Snelling. The Chief came on to close it and put on another stroke-inducing performance, putting a few runners on and then giving up some loooong fly balls that somehow stayed in the park despite a strong wind blowing straight out. One Braves hit actually ricocheted off the very top of the fence and stayed in the park.

Despite the freezing cold it was still great to be at the park. The only thing that disappointed me was the lack of tailgaters in Lot 8. Come on, people!