Orioles vs. Nationals 5/20/11-5/21/11 (Battle of the Beltways)
So here’s the series recap. Sorry for no daily posts this weekend, it was just so time consuming being at the ballpark, and the 4 o clock Saturday REALLY threw me off.
Friday, May 20th
So Nolan Reimold was called up (along with Ryan Adams). But this was good because it adds a power bat for BP (temporarily):
This BP was very good for me from a personal standpoint. How good? I set my personal high mark.
After catching a Mark Reynolds HR on the fly, followed by one off of Jake Fox, I ran around to the 3B side where the Nationals were throwing. I don’t generally change clothes or go for toss ups, but they are one of the nicest teams in terms of toss ups, so I had to try. What did I wear, though? A Capitals hat and random Akron shirt. Nothing Nationals.
I had seen on my roster that it was Jayson Werth’s birthday, so I went over to where he was throwing and wished him a happy 32nd. His return? Not a toss up. No. That would be too easy. Instead, a ball was hit right by him, which he stopped, and *kicked* over to me. I had to reach onto the field for it. I thanked him and went off.
I went then over towards the foul pole, thinking I was going back for HRs. One random trainer had a ball, and two Orioles fans were calling him for it, but I held my glove up for the hell of it, and he threw it to me. The hat was working.
A few minutes later, in LF, Ben asked Todd Coffey for a ball. Coffey asked Ben why he had an O’s hat on, and in turn threw the ball to me. I had only been watching this happen, and simply held my glove up. Hat was definitely a helpful item to have.
After that, I met up with Ed in LF, and while we were talking, Al the usher (who works the left side of LF seats) shouted for me. I turned, and he pointed to under a seat. There was just a random ball sitting there. Cool. Number six. Tied my personal best.
I caught one Nats home run on the fly, followed by beating a group of people to one a bit later, which I handed to a kid who I had been talking to during BP, trying to help him catch his first ball.
And that was it.
Here was my remaining loot:
And the Nationals plastic-ish training balls from China that I had gotten:
Matt pulled in at least 14 on the day, and here’s just a small portion of those:
I went over to the Nats dugout pre-game:
And got a few autos. Cole Kimball and someone else on my ticket:
And Roger Bernadina on a baseball (which I have NO idea where I put now to take a picture of it).
Ryan Adams was starting at 2B and got his first ML PAs. He went 1-4 on the night.
And I got Luke Scott to toss me his warmup ball in the 9th in LF. Number 9 for me on the day. Personal record.
And the Orioles got slaughtered:
Saturday, May 21st
Dugout Club Day. Meaning, lots of little children.
Not to mention I came 20 minutes late for some personal reasons, I got a ball BARELY from Doug Slaten late in Nats BP. He was throwing it to kids, but they all missed it, it bounced up a step, and I picked it up. Yes, I handed it right over to one of them (specifically an O’s fan with a glove).
So I guess that counts.
But I got one to keep a little later on when Nats BP coach Jim Lett tossed Ben and I each a ball from the bullpen (that had been hit there during BP).
Spent the game down the 3B line by the foul pole:
It was in the shade and out of the way of the children.
No baseballs, but hung out and talked with Matt and Matt. Yes, two Matts. One is the Matt who’s always there, the other is this Matt.
Was a chill day.
They showed the Preakness:
The Orioles won 8-3, and with over 33k in attendance, the place was legitimately excited:
At the lot post game where we usually hang out, Kevin Gregg stopped to sign for the children:
And Luke Scott came out behind him, so he stopped to sign as well:
And that was that.
Sunday, May 22nd
Back today, hoping the O’s would take the series.
For a 1:35 game, I expected the gates to open at 11:30. Down at the park around 11:20, and the gates were open. HUH?!
Oh right. It was little league day.
The people were everywhere:
And it was only 11:27!!!
People were even already in the upper decks!
Adam Jones and Brandon Snyder were playing catch in the OF. Notice an extra ball on the ground as well:
But Brandon ran off, ignoring my call (that, or it was so loud he couldn’t hear me). I legitimately thought I could get shut out today with no BP and barely any throwing even.
I saw Nats guys throwing across the field:
So I ran over.
Stood way back:
And called to Cole Kimball when he was done throwing and held up a huge target. And…
Awesomesauce. And it wasn’t even a garbage training ball!
The parade of children started:
So I headed off to Eutaw Street. And saw a setup of lots of crackers and food:
So I took a whole bunch of the freebies and had my lunch for the day now in hand:
Even though some Nats came out to throw:
They gave all their balls to kids walking on the field. Damn.
I ran back to the 1B side when I saw Mike Gonzalez and Alfredo Simon throwing:
I didn’t specifically need a ball, but I happened to want to talk to each of them.
Gonzo came over after and I spoke with him for a few minutes as he signed for people. Asked him about going back to his old windup and such. He knows me lately from talking to him, mainly because I’m a strong believer in him so I like to say hey when I can when he’s around.
Alfredo wandered back in before I had a chance to ask him about his new off speed pitches.
Brandon Snyder signed my one ball of the day:
Got some Nats autos:
So what did I do next?
Grabbed a seat in the 2nd row behind the Nats dugout. Duh.
I wanted to get my first third out ball ever (except one I got when I was like 10 with my dad and bla bla bla I wanted one as a ballhawk, really). So when Adam Jones grounded out in the bottom of the 3rd to end the inning, I stood up (with grey shirt and Caps hat on) and as Michael Morse ran in with the ball, he tossed it to Livan Hernandez at the dugout edge. Huh?
Well, I shouted “HEY LIVO!” and waved my glove. He tossed it. Drunk guy in front of me reached up and smacked my face and hit the ball down. Livo shook his head in disbelief. The guy didn’t seem to care. Two fans next to me asked if I was okay (they said it looked like he punched me). I was fine, but pissed I didn’t get that ball.
So I moved over to Donna’s seats on the Orioles side:
To hang out with her and Cheryl (avid Nats fan and blogger).
When Vlad homered in the close game in the 7th inning, I caught these shots when he came home:
And the O’s won, 2-1.
By the lot post game, I got Matt Wieters to sign my shoe. Yes, my shoe. I had nothing else.
People know I have my Orioles shoes:
So here it was:
And zoomed in on the spot:
I took the shoe off for him to sign, I didn’t like stick my foot in his face. I expected him to the my sharpie and sign while I held it, but he legit took the shoe into his car where he was and signed it and handed it back. Funny stuff.
Again, the stats are still a little messed up, so I’ll bring those back next home stand after I can figure them out completely this weekend. For now, know that I have about 65-75 baseballs, but will count for sure soon. So instead of stats, here are some random notes:
THANK YOU TO ALL READERS, 2131 AND BEYOND RANKED #24 IN TOP-READ FAN BLOGS ON MLBLOGS! To see that list, click here. But really, thank you all for following my craziness.
Here is a picture (credit to Uni-Watch blog) of Stephen Strasburg in an Orioles uniform:
E-mail me at: indiansfan621 at aim dot com