The Washington Nationals were three outs away from a one-run loss against the fourth place New York Mets on Tuesday night but Steve Lombardozzi saved the game by hitting a walk-off sacrifice fly into the glove of Mike Baxter in left field. His sacrifice fly sent first baseman Adam LaRoche around to score. Washington beat New York 3-2 in their first walk-off victory of the season.
The Nats may have won the game but it was night in which the their offense continued to struggle. Manager Davey Johnson’s lineup managed four hits before their three-hit ninth inning rally. They were lucky enough to score early on a solo home run hit by shortstop Ian Desmond off right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hefner in the second inning — Desmond’s eighth home run of the season — but that’s the only run they’d tally up until the ninth inning.
Spring Training is upon us. It’s celebrated as a holiday in many a home and cheers up folks stuck in deep emotional slumps due to winter (and no baseball). It’s a time to look forward to the sweet summertime yet to come. It’s the time of year where rebirth is ever-present, in the weather and in state-of-mind. That’s why I’m looking forward to the 2013 Major League Baseball season in Washington, D.C. – home of the 2012 National League East Champions.
There’s a lot to be excited about if you’re a Nats fan. For example: a lead-off hitting hustler of a center fielder in Denard Span, no pitch limit for Stephen Strasburg, newly crowned National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper (and everything he does #fangirling), a starting rotation and bullpen worthy of evoking envy throughout all of baseball, and a roster that’s just as cohesive (if not more so) as Gordon Bombay’s Mighty Ducks from Minnesota. Continue reading →
The 2012 Washington Nationals can and will be remembered in a few different ways. Some will see it as a successful season riddled with historic milestones achieved by a team who competed well beyond anyone’s spring training predictions. Others will remember it for the gut-wrenching two-run loss induced by a ninth inning collapse versus the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the National League Division Series after being up 6-0.
But maybe there’s a happy medium between the two extremes?
Washington baseball in the modern era organically evolved into a devotion-based fan obsession upon the May inception of #Natitude. The play-on-words marketing strategy, endorsed by the Nationals’ Chief Operating Officer Andy Feffer, peaked people’s interest enough to follow the team on its journey toward becoming a contender. And this is all in addition to the incredibly devout season ticket holders and fans who’ve been supportive of the team since 2005 — the Nationals’ inaugural season.
Since that time, the already active community of voices in support of the team on Twitter has increased in size, seats in the ballpark were filled willingly, and a Photoshop trend became the norm for expressing one’s thoughts surrounding the team and its players. Record attendance numbers and television ratings were tallied. The Nats made it to the playoffs for the first time in team history. These are all positive changes when compared to season’s past.