I knew it was going to be interesting when at 3:10 p.m., the media parking lot was at capacity. A much larger contingent than Opening Day.
I walked out to Half Street around 4:15 p.m. and chatted with several dozen fans in line for the $5 seats, including one gentleman in a wheelchair who, at 90, recalled the atmosphere at the 1933 World Series when the Senators lost to the Giants in 5 games.
"This reminds me of that, except for the rock and roll music," he said. "I'm glad I was able to be here for this."
The anthem was performed by recording artist Jaared on saxophone. Imagine my surprise when it didn't turn out to be the Subway guy. Nice job, though.
When tonight's starting pitcher for the Nationals - Stephen Strasburg, perhaps you've heard of him - walked in from the bullpen with pitching coach Steve McCatty, he received a huge ovation from the crowd, which McCatty acknowledged by tipping his own cap several times.
When the game itself got underway, Strasburg showed some nerves by getting behind leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen, who eventually lined out to short. He got Neil Walker on a groundball to first and then struck out ex-Nat Lastings Milledge to a loud ovation. He struck out the side in the second, though he allowed his first big league hit to Pittsburgh third baseman Andy LaRoche on a 100mph fastball. I don't think Andy asked for the ball, though perhaps he should have - No telling what that ball might bring in a charity auction.
Oh yes, Ryan Zimmerman homered in the bottom of the first, #12 on the year, a solo shot that has the home team up by a run.
I'll check back in later on, but believe me, it's quite a night.