Nats fans respond to team's pleas with electric postseason crowd

Come early. Wear red. Be loud. Stay for the whole game.

That was the message the Nationals and some in the local media were trying to get across to fans before the National League Division Series against the Dodgers began Friday in D.C.

Message received.

Nationals fans were out in full force for Game 1 at Nats Park, and although the Dodgers jumped out to an early lead and won the game 4-3, the stadium was electric throughout, with fans standing and being loud from the start.

And the Nationals took notice.

nats-park-fans-nlds.png"Well, I loved it," manager Dusty Baker said of the atmosphere at the ballpark. "I tell you, wish it was like that every day. You know, it's like that every day at a few places. I love the sea of red, a lot more red than blue."

This comes on the heels of members of the local media imploring fans to not only show up to the Nats' playoff games, but to be active and stay for the entirety of the game in lieu of the fan base being accused of leaving games early. Some fans have retaliated by saying they were told by members of the Nats Park staff to sit down during big moments of the game.

All of that commotion earned a response from Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner, who wrote a letter to Nats fans before the postseason telling them to stand up and cheer for the whole game.

Well, they did just that.

"You know, it was a great atmosphere last night," third baseman Anthony Rendon said of the crowd. "I guess some of our comments and some of our pleads with the Nationals fans are finally getting heard. It's fun to see the excitement back in D.C. with baseball."

The Nationals spoke. The fans responded. The key now is to keep it going for every home game this postseason.

"They were amazing last night," Rendon said, "and I hope they continue to bring it out every time we go out on the field."

The Nationals appreciated the fans' response and energy last night, and hope to reward them in Game 2, especially down 0-1 entering the last game at Nats Park before heading to Los Angeles.

"It was a great atmosphere," Baker said, "and we want to, you know, do something to show our appreciation to our home fans - like win today."

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