I have been to as many Mets at Nationals games as probably 95% of the baseball-watching population. I have little to no doubt in my mind that it is the match-up I have seen more games than any other in baseball. That said, in terms of excitement, this was in at least the lower 50th percentile. That started with what was happening when I got to the gates:
I was utterly confused, because I had gotten there 3 hours early. So naturally I tried to scan my ticket and get in, but that’s when I learned that this was a season ticket holder event, and as a result of this, 1. There would be no batting practice, and 2. The gates were only opening 1.5 hours early for the game.
Instead of getting in line and waiting in the sun for 90 minutes, I sat down in the shade and charged my iPhone (because I’m starting to suspect that they are even equipped with a battery). In this time, I saw the line grow massive outside of the center field gate:
Now normally I would have freaked out and jumped in line after five people got int it. But instead, I got up from sitting five minutes before the gates were supposed to open and relied on human stupidity to get me to near the front of the line. And I was right!
When the stadium opens 2.5 hours early, the only gate that’s open is the center field gate, but then all gates open 1.5 hours before the game starts. While pretty much no one else bothered to check, I figured since all of the stadium staff was already in the stadium for the season ticket holder event and the gates were opening 1.5 hours early, this would be the case. As a result of me being one of the first in closer to home plate, I was the first person to get to the Nationals pitchers warming up down the right field line:
And because of this, I got a toss-up from a face I hadn’t seen in a while: Ryan Mattheus. It was nice to see him back from his rehab stint, because if I’m not mistaken, he has tossed me more baseballs than any other person ever. (Actually I now checked, and he is the leader.) Here he added onto his lead by tossing me my seventh baseball ever:
That would be it for snagging until the game itself. I would actually go on to give this baseball away to an usher I know in left field, as I sat out there for the majority of the game. Although, I must clear up something from two sentences ago: I actually snagged my second and final baseball in *between* the game and not during the game itself. The two teams played eight innings, but there was then a rain delay in some part (or right after) of the eighth inning. So what I did since I was down by the dugout at this point in the game, is I got a baseball from home plate umpire Lance Barksdale as he cleared the field for the rain delay. There was then an hour-long rain delay, and then the two teams played the ninth inning. The delay was actually insult to injury, because this was a game that was cruising along until the seventh inning, where it then decided to start taking forever with a bunch of base runners and pitching changes.
But anyway, like I said, this wasn’t a very exciting game. That’s all I have for you. Be sure as always to read the stats. Goodbye.
- 2 Baseballs at this game (1 pictured because I gave the other away)
Numbers 587 and 588:
- 142 Balls in 36 Games= 3.94 Balls Per Game
- 2 Balls x 37,464 Fans=74,928 Competition Factor
- 98 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
- 3 straight games with 2-3 Balls
- 175 Balls in 40 Games at Nationals Park= 4.38 Balls Per Game
- 32 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at Nationals Park
- 3 straight Games with at least 2-3 Balls at Nationals Park
- Time Spent On Game 10:58-8:13= 9 Hours 15 Minutes