So after getting married, Alli and I headed to D.C. on Monday for our honeymoon. A bit non-traditional, but we weren't really keen on a cruise or anything like that, and we wanted the trip to be driveable. Along with all the other touristy things to do in D.C., the Reds were playing, so that was a plus. Alli's uncle gave us two great tickets to Wednesday night's game, and a reader of Red Reporter gave us two (also great) tickets to Thursday's game.
After some difficulties getting down there (including sitting through a three hour traffic jam on Monday night), we arrived at the Rennaissance, our hotel for the week.
I'm used to staying in Holiday Inns, so I felt a bit out of place at a hotel that normally charges $350 a night. But it was a great deal of fun, and we enjoyed the place very much. Thank you Priceline for making it possible for us to stay there. = )
I don't usually do a lot of game analysis on this site, because I don't think my in game thoughts and observations are any different from most people's. But here's what I saw on Wednesday night, my first game in person since the second game of the year:
- Felipe Lopez looks really athletic. Just what you think a shortstop should look like these days.
- Ramon Ortiz is really small. Not height wise, weight wise. You think he's going to snap in half when he plants his foot to pitch. He had a decent night, and probably deserved a little better from the Reds offense.
- The Nationals had Adam Dunn listed at 275, a number which seemed a little high to me, but I guess that's what he's going with these days. 6'6, 275 and he's a baseball player. You'd think he would have tried football or something. ;)
- John Patterson gave up three runs, but he was much better than that. He kept the Reds off balance all night, and got out of a bases loaded nobody out jam rather easily. I was also impressed with Chad Cordero. He struck out Wily Mo Pena, and I'm not sure Pena came within three feet of the ball on any of his swings. There was little doubt that the game was over when Cordero came in.
- Nats fans seem to love their team. The stadium was pretty loud all night, and people seemed very into the game. Jerseys and hats were seen in abundance. D.C. has really embraced the team.
- Jason Standridge is terrible. It was clear from his first few pitches that he didn't have anything, and sure enough, he lost the game. I won't be sad to see him go.
- Balls just die in RFK Stadium. Junior's home run was a linedrive, which seems to be the only way to hit a homerun there.
- I know I keep going on about the size of players, but good God, Livan Hernandez is huge. He's listed at 245 and he looks much bigger than Dunn. I'd love to get some of these players on scales, just to see how much of a farce the official listed weights are.
- Claussen pitched pretty well, but isn't at all economical with his pitches. He's becoming more of a nibbler, which seems to be working, but it's going to make it tougher for him to go deep in games.
- Ken Griffey Jr. is a joy to watch. The ball slipped out of his hand when he was trying to throw to the infield on a double, and it was great to watch Dunn teasing him about it, mimicking Junior's throw. They look like they have a great relationship. I've said it repeatedly, I don't know how I feel about trading Junior, but I certainly won't be upset if the Reds keep him around.
- I missed a foul ball. Yeah, I know. Off the bat of Austin Kearns, a pretty high foul, came relatively straight towards me. And it bounced right off the palm of my left hand. I feel like I should just go ahead and get my testicles cut off and renounce my masculinity. I mean, really, is there anything worse than missing a foul ball?
And yet, I now understand why the high fouls always seem to bounce off of people's hands. They're certainly catchable, I think anyway. If I had used both hands and cradled it against my body I think I could have gotten it, but the moment was quick and I only used my left hand. If only I was one of those adults I usually make fun of who bring their gloves to the park. But yeah, my hand just wouldn't close on the ball, it instinctively opened up when the ball hit. So remember kids, two hands when you get your shot.
On the plus side, the ball hit my brand spanking new wedding ring, causing my left ring finger to bleed quite a bit (after I removed the ring), something I didn't notice until we were nearly back to the hotel. So I had that going for me.