Would’ve posted this earlier, but I forgot. So there.
Last night, when filmmaker Ken Burns was at Nationals Park to throw out the first pitch, John Lannan was scheduled to catch it. But Drew Storen is a big fan of Burns’ documentaries on PBS, and had been itching for a chance to meet Burns since he heard he was coming to Nationals Park.
So Storen went to Lannan and asked if he could catch the first pitch in his place. When Storen went to the mound, he walked with Burns and chatted for a minute, telling him he was a big fan of his work.
“He said, ‘Oh, because of Baseball, (Burns’ 1994 documentary on the game) right?’” Storen said. “I said, ‘No. Because of The War.’”
Storen’s grandfather was in the Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and the Nationals rookie was riveted by Burns’ seven-part documentary on World War II (Two asides: First, just like a Stanford man, huh? And second, he’s right; The War was tremendous. Definitely worth the time).
And the payoff? “He’s sending me an autographed copy,” Storen said.
As far as the game tonight, the Nationals have rallied for a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth, helped by bad defense from their past center fielder (Lastings Milledge) but hurt by shoddy fielding from their current one (Nyjer Morgan, who was traded for Milledge last year). The Pirates kept pelting liners at Morgan in the third and fourth innings, and Morgan committed an error, allowing Milledge to take second when he threw past the plate on a needless attempt to get Garrett Jones at home. He also missed a cutoff man later in the third inning. But Milledge, playing right field, missed a running grab at Ian Desmond’s double in the fourth.
We’re tied at five now, after Milledge - who missed two chances to advance from second to third on fly balls where he didn’t know whether to tag up or go halfway - finally came home on a single that ricocheted off John Lannan’s leg. It was a bad night for Lannan, who allowed five runs and was just replaced by Tyler Walker. It’s 5-5 in the fifth.