That was the chant reverberating through the underpass/tunnel heading back to Lot 7 after yesterday's stirring walk-off victory over the New Yorkers. It was a chant made all the sweeter, of course, by the high concentration of Yankee fans occupying the underpass at the same time---most of whom were still stunned into silence or otherwise tight-lipped. Good times.
Some quick observations:
- The most obvious and most lasting impression I took from the game is how much more exciting things are when you actually make it to the game. As most of you probably know, I live and work about two hours away. I've stupidly toyed with going in on twenty-game plan ideas in the past, but the conclusion is always the same: not feasible. Not feasible with the work schedule, or the responsibilities I have outside of work, or just because of the realities of life. But it's well worth it to take in some of the Nats' games, because---as you might expect---the experience is entirely different than relying on the radio play-by-play or the generosity of the mighty MLBAM. It's games like this where I wish I could partake in this experience more---much more, in fact.
- This was in some ways a relic game, a game with shape we don't often see anymore: (1) reliable starting pitching on both sides; (2) a manager (Robinson) willing to stick with a short reliever for two innings, despite the reliever surrendering the go-ahead run during his first inning of work; (3) the losing pitcher, the visiting team's starter, tallying an "eight-odd" inning complete game when he, not a reliever, surrendered the winning runs. In other words, there was minimalist use of relievers, not this left/right/left/right stuff---the type of game you'd still see fairly routinely between 1985-90, but not much anymore. Of course, as mentioned by Pinstripe Alley, Joe Torre's managing of yesterday's game appeared to be limited by circumstance.
- Wang looked smooth, but seems to lack a finishing pitch. Mike O'Connor, pride of GWU, is quite rough but seems to have this inherent ability to wiggle.
- I'm not a big fan of "huddle-and-hop-around" reactions to walk-off hits, but Ryan Zimmerman made the prelude to it fun, with a stutter-step and quite exaggerated leap onto home plate.
- I think Brick, my buddy Will, and I all knew Zimmerman's shot was gone the moment it left his bat.
- Damian Jackson participated in this fun little high-five sequence after the team mobbed. Fun to see.
- Zimmerman's curtain call was cool. Thom Loverro calls the homer a legacy-maker. We'll see about that. If Zimmerman fulfills his potential, this shot will be only a footnote in a greater legacy.
- Finally, a post-game observation: As Harper reminds us, Jim Bowden is completely (and conveniently) shameless.