March 11, 2016 Game: Mets @ Nats, Space Coast Stadium
The game started with the National Anthem as usual—sung by a girl who looked about 6 years old with a great voice and a working microphone.
Strasberg may have been working on stuff today. But whatever he was doing, he didn’t look as sharp as he has at other times. So when he left after the 3rd inning, the Nats were behind 1-0. However, the Nats started hitting, and quickly took a 3-1 lead. The N-A-T-S, N-A-T-S, N-A-T-S, WOO! Team went to work: after all, fans need Spring Training, too.
There was also some cheering in our section unrelated to the game: a peanut vendor promised a six-year-old free peanuts if he could catch the pack from seven rows below. He did: fan for life.
Ran into a number of Nats fans from DC, both in the park and on the beach afterwards. Nice to be jogging through the sand and hear “Go Nats!”
Also, I now have photographic evidence that “Sendley” does have a stop sign.
The game continued with Nats minor leaguers and bench players vs. Mets minor leaguers and bench players. The pitch clock was in use, but no one seemed to be paying much attention to it. Then in the eighth inning, a hit-and-error-and-run episode (not to be confused with a hit-and-run) allowed the Nats to score five more runs. The Nats batted around, and the inning finally ended with a play at second that probably would have been overturned on replay. But I suspect Joe West was ready for the inning to be over, and since the Mets weren’t helping, he decided to take matters into his own hand.
That left matters in Jonathan Papelbon’s hands, who entered to mostly cheers to do something he is unlikely to ever be called upon to do again: protect an 8-run lead. I’m guessing due to recovering from yesterday’s virus, he wasn’t sharp, either. Let’s face it: if you’re Jonathan Papelbon, and you can’t get these guys out, when “these guys” are wearing jerseys without names, you’re probably not feeling like yourself. That’s kind of what the look below looks like to me.
Dusty did speak with Pap and pat him on the back before sending him to the showers. Dusty got the cheers when he went out to get him.
We did collect a curly W, but remember that it’s Spring Training and the score doesn’t matter.