What a day at the ballpark

As the Nationals’ season came to an end today (a 1-0 loss to the Mets), it was easy to be disappointed. We weren’t not going to the playoffs. Down the stretch, not only did we lose first place, but we did so by losing lots of games we had a good chance to win. And, last but not least, in the final days, our closer tried to choke our best player, and our manager sent the closer back to the mound a few minutes later.

But the year wasn’t all bad. It was actually mostly good. We saw a young player have a break-out, tremendous year. We saw one ace pitch two no-hitters — I managed to catch the end of both on TV! — and we had another regain his amazing rookie form after years of struggle. We played stretches of terrific baseball. We contended.

My favorite game was just before the Fourth of July. Friend Carlos, through the magic that is Carlos, got field passes and great seats for a game. He invited me along with his brother and oldest son, and it was a wonderfully, ridiculously good baseball time. Thank you to Carlos, the Nationals and the sport of baseball for a memorable summer day.

Batting practice. Gray. But the rain held off!

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William gets loose before throwing BP.

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Taylor.

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Zimmerman.

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Rendon.

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Escobar.

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Werth (and Harper’s back)

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Scherzer (and Zimmerman).

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The scene (click to enlarge).

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Proof of attendance (with Rendon again).

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Werth again.

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Werth, closer.

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CLOSER.

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My Werth ball, which now sits on our mantelpiece.

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The debut of Calvin Coolidge.

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Justin Maxwell, a local and former Nat, back in town.

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Restraining myself from singing the anthem.

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Bumgarner.

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Our fantastic seats. A little rain, but not for long.

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Terrance. (We’ll miss you, Terrance.)

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Coolidge body-checks Teddy at the line.

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Amid a pitchers’ duel, Robinson homers in the seventh.

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Nats win, 2-1, and we celebrate America.

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