The Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 3-0 on Wednesday in their second game of the season. The Nationals have opened the season with two straight shutouts at their home field in the District of Columbia. The Nationals are starting off the season with a strong pitching staff that refuses to give up runs. They have a chance to make record history in their first three games for shutouts. The only other team in Major League history to do this was the Cardinals in 1963.
Gio Gonzalez was the multitalented player of the night. Gonzalez, who bats right-handed but throws left, was a star with his significant contribution to the shutout and with a home run. On the mound, Gonzalez would take his time between pitches to blow into his hands to keep them warm. He pitched in a short sleeve uniform even though it was uncomfortably cold at the night game. The spectators drank cold beer and cheered standing to warm their bodies.
A loyal fan of the Nationals, Guillermo Avellandea of Fairfax Station, Va. said he “wanted to start a bon-fire but the ushers would definitely throw him out in a heartbeat.” He did not care though considering a few minutes later, he would end up becoming one of those lucky fans to catch and take home a foul ball. “These are those types of things that I will be able to share and pass down to my children—I feel so lucky to have caught it out of all of these people here tonight,” Avellandea said. The crowd cheered for Gonzalez as he jogged around the bases after his home-run and the dugout was wild with teammates applauding him.
Those fans that endured the cold for all nine innings watched them finish the game without the Marlins scoring. The Nationals will eventually lose a game but hopefully not against the Marlins. The pressure is on right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmerman tonight with their last game against visiting Marlins. The Marlins are preparing to seek redemption for the previous two games, but the “Natitude” is personal.
The Nationals are playing from their hearts for the love of the game and for Davey Johnson. Just before the season started Johnson sat down for a press conference and announced this will be his last season before he lets loose of his team to a younger manager. Johnson has spent the offseason improving his roster and training the team for winning the 2013 World Series.
“I just want to see my Nats take it home this year,” said another loyal Nationals fan Dylan Moyer of Lake Ridge, Va.
You could feel the magic in the air among the fans and the stadium employees—baseball season is officially back in full swing!
Travis Harvey of Reston, Va. proclaimed to a crowd waiting for $1 hot dogs that “this year is OUR year!”—receiving a large crowd applause and cheer agreeing that they too believed it is the year for the Nationals.
“I have been to every single home game, for the exception of not even a handful of games, and I am truly behind my team 100%. They will do it this year without a doubt,” said Harvey.
The Nationals have just as much talent as any other team and they are the team to beat. It may be too early to predict, but the Nationals are starting off the season with the skills needed to at least have a possibility of competing for a spot in the playoffs. Let us pray these first two games are foreshadowing the rest of the season to come.
*Pictures soon to follow! 🙂