One of my dreams/bucket list items is to attend a no-hitter in person. In July 2001, I saw Todd Ritchie (yes, Todd Ritchie) go 8 1/3 innings before giving up a single. After seeing probably over 100 baseball games in my lifetime, that was the closest I've come to seeing a no-hitter. Meanwhile, I took my son (The Moose, age 4) to his first baseball game on Saturday night. He has now attended one single baseball game and has witnessed a no-hitter (and almost the 22nd perfect major league game since 1900). He has no idea that this is a big deal. On to my notes and thoughts on the game and taking The Moose to his first game.
- Breaking news: Max Scherzer is really, really good. Maybe that's why the Nationals paid him over $200 million. I'm a Pirates fan and definitely wanted the Bucs to win, but I can appreciate an amazing pitching performance and found myself rooting for a perfect game in the top of the 9th.
- After the first inning, The Moose told me that he wanted to go home. That's when I went into food mode. I offered him a fruit bar that I had in my bag and then we quickly went to the concession stand to get french fries and a Sprite. He loved the Sprite and made it through the rest of the game (sitting on my lap for nearly all of it) without any complaints.
- In either the 7th inning or top of the 8th inning, I looked at the scoreboard and mentioned to my friend that we were watching a perfect game. We knew it was a no-hitter but had no idea we were watching a potential perfect game until then.
- I did a terrible job of taking pictures during the game. Really, I just wanted to make sure my kid was happy and that I didn't lose him in the crowd of over 40,000. I did take this picture of several members of the Pirates walking to the bullpen before the game. Plus, both Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen sat in my section!
- I also should have taken a picture of someone wearing a Pirates' Garrett Jones jersey.
- Unwritten rules in baseball are stupid. In the 8th inning, the Nats shifted against Pedro Alvarez. Pedro could have bunted towards the deserted third base line to reach on a single, but that's not permitted in baseball. Well, if it was a 1-0 game, maybe that would have been a little acceptable, but baseball folks would have gone insane if Pedro did this on Saturday. If you think the reaction to Jose Tabata reaching on a hit-by-pitch was crazy, Pedro would have been vilified even more.
- The Nationals had a promotion on Saturday where after the game, Seniors could stroll the bases. During the game, I talked with my friend about the fact I tweaked my knee (for the second time in a month) earlier in the day working as a soccer referee), probably will need bifocals soon and that I recently went to the dentist and learned that I have receding gums. Basically, I could have been eligible to run the bases!
- When we got home, all The Moose talked about to my wife was chocolate syrup. Naturally, she had not idea what he was talking about. I mean why would there be chocolate syrup at a baseball game? Here's the answer:
MASN's Dan Kolko did not look happy about Jayson Werth dumping chocolate syrup on him. I'd bet $10 that Werth doesn't pay the dry-cleaning bill.
- The Moose wasn't very impressed by the Presidents/Pierogi race. I think he found the characters a little scary.
- I'd like to give the Nationals credit for posting the artist and song title for each hitter's walk-up music on the scoreboard. That was a nice touch particularly since I didn't know many songs.
- Quick rant: I love keeping ticket stubs of sporting events/concerts I attend. However, there are less and less ticket stubs these days and you generally print off your tickets now. Even Nats season ticket holders get a card that they swipe or scan at the gate instead of receiving individual tickets. Here is part of my ticket from Saturday's game that is now folded up on a regular 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.
- I don't ever want to drive through a hurricane, but I feel like I got a taste of what it's like to do so going home after the game. There were massive thunderstorms on Saturday evening with extremely heavy rain and lightning everywhere. I'm glad that the game was at 4:05 since a 7:05 game would have been postponed.
Here's more about the game:
The Washington Post (here and here
People were mad at Tabata (also The Washington Post)
Dejan Kovacevich wrote a really good piece in support of Tabata. [DK on Pittsburgh Sports]
Clinton Yates agreed with DK. [Washington Post again]
Josh Yohe of DK on Pittsburgh Sports
Video of the top of the 9th [MLB]