Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday Afternoon at RFK
I took the afternoon off yesterday, and went to the Nationals/Phillies game. Despite the less than ideal weather, and the Nats' less than ideal hitting, it was a much better way to spend a weekday afternoon than usual.

Staff "ace" John Patterson took the mound, and struggled again. He consistently let the first batter of the inning on base. By the fifth inning, when he was removed, he had absolutely nothing. His fast balls don't seem as fast as they did back when he was good. He topped out at 88 mph on the scoreboard gun. I think he's hurt. He was relieved by Levale Speigner and Saul Rivera, who both pitched well, as pretty much all of the relievers do these days, with the exception of Chad Cordero (now that Ray King is on the DL). I hope Cordero turns things around soon.

I got to the game a little early, and decided to grab some lunch on the Terrace, which was pretty unpopulated about 45 minutes before game time. That's too bad. I felt bad for the guys in the chicken stand, who didn't even look like they anticipated enough business to fire up their deep fryers. I scouted around, and chose to get something from the hot dog stand, which is called something like DC Dawgs. They'll sell you two corndogs, doused with nacho cheese and chilli sauce, with a bag of chips, for $12. Considering plain old hot dogs cost $5.50 from Aramark, this is actually a decent deal. And it covers all of the basic ballpark food groups: hot dogs/sausages, nacho cheese, fried stuff. Jackpot! I was a little wary when I saw how the thing looked, and it was a little messy. But it was damn good. And, unlike everything else that has to do with the Nationals, it was something that I hadn't seen at a million ball games before. So, whatever this is called (and I'll be able to tell you after the next game I go to), I hereby deem that this is the Nationals' signature food. Forget half smokes.

The crowd was about 16,000, most of whom were sitting right behind me, chatting away and not paying attention to the game at all. I guess you can't expect much more for a weekday afternoon game when the weather is not so great. It was truly a dull game, until the ninth inning when the Nationals mounted a comeback. That was about the time that they decided to do that thing where they show no originality whatsoever, and play Sweet Caroline over the PA, with a cheesy Neil Diamond video and everything. That sucked. Sweet Caroline ended and, shortly thereafter, so did the comeback, when Chris Snelling watched strike three with the tying runs in scoring position. At least they made it interesting.

It would have been a nice game to win, before going to Florida with a reasonable possibility of overtaking the Marlins for third place. Which still could happen, especially since Patterson won't be pitching in that series.


cleavers44 said...

That corn-dog-nacho-chili thing does sound good. I'll have to snag that next weekend.

Sweet Caroline has got to go, though.

tadcranky said...

Good, and, uh, good for you...