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a good day at the ballpark

So a couple of weeks ago, brian_edminster mentioned that he'd been offered some tickets to the Nationals/Orioles game on May 20, and would I be interested in going?
Of course I answered YES; here we are seven weeks into the season and I hadn't seen a game yet, thanks to finals, CPA exams, and the subsequent lack of $. So we made tentative plans to meet up at the stadium, and despite the recent bout with cellulitis I was in good enough shape to consider...well, not taking the Metro, because the crush at the Navy Yard station on game days is horrendous and my SmartCard is carrying a negative balance anyway, but parking a mile or so away and walking to the park wasn't out of the question. And that's what I wound up doing; the plan was to motor up 295, get off at South Capitol over by the old Navy Photographic Labs, and park in the commuter lot between South Capitol Street SW and South Capitol Street SE, near where Howard Road merges into SoCap. I ate a decent lunch so that I wouldn't have to eat at the park, and headed out...

...only to find, as you can see from the previously linked map, that the parking lot was now blocked off and inaccessible! Botheration! After some puttering around by Anacostia Park, I finally decided to park under the Douglass Bridge itself, a reasonable distance from the park itself and the riverbank and not too far from the trail leading to the bridge. From the south end of the bridge to Nationals Park was 0.8 mile, but I walked around to the left field gate at Half and N Streets which I'm sure tacked on at least another 0.2 miles. There I settled into wait for my hosts...who were a while in coming, as they had parked in Shady Grove or some similarly distant place and taken the Metro in. They got to the park in plenty of time for the 1335 start (which I had thought was 1305, but that was good since I was on time for once) and we enjoyed some decent seats in the shade down in section 140. A pleasant surprise was that the seats were part of a Harris Teeter Family Fun Pack, so that the tickets came with soda, chips and a hot dog.

And it was a good game. Baseball Jesus was a bit shaky in the first two innings, coughing up three runs (although two of those were due to Bryce Harper being dumb in the outfield), but those were the last runs the Hated Birds would score. The Nats tied it up in the third with a single from Strasburg, a double from Espinosa, a triple from Harper (scoring Straburg & Espy) and a fielder's choice by Desmond that snuffed LaRoche but scored Harper. Things got even better in the bottom of the fourth when Jesus Flores came up with two outs and promptly jacked one into the right-field stands, after which Strasburg followed suit with a bomb to center. O's starter Chen left in the bottom of the 5th after giving up a run on two singles and a walk and was replaced by troublesome sidearmer O'Day, who held the Nats scoreless for the next 1.2 innings. He in turn gave way to Eveland, who loaded the bases in the 7th before getting Ankiel to fly out. Eveland's luck ran out in the eighth: Lombardozzi pinch-hit for Clippard and singled, after which Espinosa launched the third dinger for the Nats. Harper walked, went to third on a bungled fielder's choice that put Zimmerman on, and came home on a sac fly by La Roche. Mattheus mopped up in the top of the ninth, and it was all over: 9-3 Nats.

Harper and Clippard helped me close out the week in my fantasy baseball league on an up note; I am now in second place with a 5-2 record, and this week am matched up against the last place team. We'll see how that works out, especially with my supersub Emilio Bonifacio on the DL, which is already clogged with the Youk, Yoenis Cespedes, and Drew Storen.