Rachel Levitin: Unprompted responses create hopeful stadium buzz

The recent slew of one-run victories in Washington is enough to get the adrenaline of the players and fans to gush. After last night's 5-4 win versus the Chicago Cubs, Nationals organist Matt Van Hoose and I got to talking about the electricity that erupts in the park's seating bowl and creates an aura of energy from within in the confines of Nationals Park. When fans make noise in favor of the team and feel like they're a part of the motivating factor to win it, it really makes that much of a difference.

There's no doubt that a stadium buzzing with chatter, cheers and even jeers is a different place than a library. When the Philadelphia Phillies come to town, the place is as loud as a NASCAR race. Even if Nats fans don't agree with their rivals' catcalling and behavior, their presence is always felt.

What was impressive about the crowd of 19,631 at Nationals Park for Wednesday's game is that Nats fans outcheered the always boisterous Cubs fans. Their "Let's go Cubbies" cheers were drowned out by Nats fans and it wasn't because the Nat Pack was telling them to do it. They just did that on their own.

Of course, it's important to point out that there were a few boos throughout the night. Those were directed toward Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth, who is in what manager Davey Johnson is calling "a bit of a funk." With that said, though, Nationals fans sound like they've gotten quite the thrill these past few days due to the excitement generated from the one-run victories.

If given the opportunity to see a blowout game where a team dominates and devours the competition, nothing can match the exhilaration induced by a one-run win. It's the buzz. It's a rush of adrenaline. And it seems to be working as both a motivator for fans in the stands and the guys on the field.

Could it be? Could Washington be continuing upon the long and treacherous path toward becoming a baseball town? Only time can tell that one, but the fans' response toward this team, which now sits two games above .500, seems to favor that conviction.

Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC, and will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation's capital this week as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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