After spending the morning and afternoon sightseeing in Washington D.C., we went to a ballgame in the evening. At about 6 PM, we walked one block from our hotel to L’Enfant Plaza station to take the Metro to the Washington Nationals ballgame. The Nationals were hosting the Houston Astros at 7:00 PM. Our ride on the Metro lasted just a few minutes. We got off the train at Navy Yard station, which is a block away from the center field entrance to Nationals Park.

We were not convinced that there would be a ballgame to watch. The rain had been very heavy at times during the day, but it wasn’t raining when we entered the ballpark. The field and the stadium seats were soaking wet, the sky was gray and dark, and we were hoping for the best.

Many new major league ballparks have been built during the last decade so it can be difficult to be impressed by them, but the ballpark in Washington was a pleasant surprise. The high definition video board in center field is impressive. I can’t think of anything negative to say about the Nationals Park. The only problem they have is the poor quality of the team that plays home games there.

We bought seats that were far back under an overhanging deck, so we’d remain dry if the rain returned. As it turned out, a light misty rain did fall during most of the game but the game was never delayed. We remained dry under the cover of the deck above us.

The Washington Nationals might be the worst team in Major League Baseball. Their won-loss record at game time was 6-17. That poor record is enough to kill the ballgame attendance, but there were 2 other factors in play on this night that kept people away from the ballpark. First, the weather was wet and miserable. Second, Washington’s NHL hockey team had a playoff game on this night so many of the local sports fans felt they had something more important to watch.

Incredibly, the official attendance at the ballgame was announced as 14,115. I want the guy that calculated that figure to please count the number of years that I have left to live! I doubt that there were more than 5,000 people at the game. I have to assume that the announced figure of 14,115 is based on ticket sales, and not on the number of people that actually passed through the gates.

On this night, the Nationals fell behind 4-0 in the 5th inning. It looked like another dismal Nationals effort and another loss. But the Nationals woke up, and the Houston pitchers suddenly forgot how to find the strike zone. The Nationals scored 9 unanswered runs during the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings and defeated the Houston Astros by final score of 9-4. Box Score

It was the first win of the season for Nationals “ace” starting pitcher John Lannan. Do they have Ringo in the bullpen?

We exited the ballpark fairly quickly and hopped on the Metro to return to our hotel. Rob headed directly to his room, while the rest of made a quick detour down the block to McDonalds before we called it a night.