There are few things that say summertime quite like baseball. With the long weekend coming, the Nationals (21-28) return home for a six-game homestand against the Padres (20-30) and Phillies (31-19). The road trip wasn’t as kind to the Nationals as the previous one, with the Nationals going 1-7 across three cities, and playing some pretty dismal baseball. It’s clear that the Nationals are in for some interesting times. But, there’s some good reasons to hit the ballpark this time round.
Promotions: Everyone loves a good promo. This Friday night, the first 10,000 fans 21 and up get a Miller Light Frosty Mug, and they’re also running a $5 beer special along the Scoreboard Walk before the game. $20 gets you in, and your first beer fro the Scoreboard Walk concessions. Sunday afternoon, the first 10,000 fans under 12 get a cute bat & ball set, so the kids’ll remember this one, no matter who comes out on top.
Opponents: I have some good news, and I have some bad news.
The good news is, the Nats can break some of their slump against the Padres, whose pitching hasn’t been solid, but, they are also one of the few teams whose road record is much better than their home record. The Nats can hopefully get better outings from Lannan, Zimmermann and Gorzelanny than their last set, and the meek offense of the Padres is as good a team as any to lick their wounds against.
The bad news is, right after the Padres leave, the 31-19 Phillies show up. For those who don’t read the box scores every day with fervor, that is the best record in the majors. They bring with them Halladay (6-3), Cliff Lee (4-4), Roy Oswalt (3-2). There’s really no good news here. There’s just not.
Day Baseball at its Best: There are four day games on this homestand, and it looks like Saturday/Sunday/Monday will be fairly clear, and with sunny and mid 80s in the forecast. If you have to choose just one, I’d say Saturday, what with the Padres in town, but if you’re feeling baseball-y on Monday, there are a lot of great ticket deals to be had. Seats in the LF and RF mezzanine are $20 with $6 in food/beverage credit on the ticket. Seats in the LF and RF field-level corners are $25 with $10 in food/beverage credit and the LF and RF field-level baseline reserved seats are $40 with $15 in food/beverage credit.
Also of note: The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation will break ground on their new Baseball Academy on Tuesday in Southeast DC in the Fort Dupont area. We’ll have more this week as we get closer to the groundbreaking, but this is an exciting development for the local baseball culture.