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Thursday, July 05, 2007

"I don't know how to explain it. I wish every day was a holiday."

In past years, our group of friends always gathered at the Capitol to watch the 4th of July fireworks in DC. It was usually half miserable (heat, humidity) and half amazing (celebrating the 4th on the Capitol steps says it all). This year, we decided that the best way to celebrate was, of course, with our Nationals. We arrived at RFK early to take it all in -- stopped by the autograph area to see Jon Rauch, thought about standing in a long line for George Washington Bobbleheads, and picked up our favorite popcorn. We then found our seats in Section 301 -- a big splurge for the 4th of July.

We finally did pick up our Bobble heads, though Steph generously gave her to the small boy behind us that came too late. In between innings, we had the opportunity to watch Austin throw to a pitcher and occasionally, to see pitchers warm up.

The Nats got off to an early lead with Zimmerman hitting a solo shot home run over the left field wall. We had expected him to hit a home run today (he usually does on holidays) but we were not expecting it in the 1st inning. The Nats offense finally came alive in the 5th inning. Jesus Flores scored off of Ronnie Belliard’s double. Then with runners on 1st and 3rd, the Cubs walked Ryan Zimmerman to bring up Dmitri Young…were they crazy?! Young is the hottest hitter on our team. The double play the Cubs wanted so badly didn’t happen as Dmitri smacked a grand slam over the left field fence. The fans in RFK were as loud as I have ever heard them, about 40,000 people were cheering. What an amazing moment.

Defense was on fire today. Nook Logan made an amazing diving catch in center field, and Ronnie Belliard showed his mobility with a play on a line drive that could have been a double for the Cubs. Ryan Zimmerman looked focused and threw perfectly to Young for several outs at first.

The star of the game was Matt Chico. The rookie has pitched incredibly well for us all season, but hasn’t had a win since May 17th. Chico had his best outing of the season yesterday, pitching 7 shut out innings and giving up only 4 hits. I was happy Chico got the win today; he has pitched so well this season leaving just about every game he pitched with a lead, but ending with a no-decision or a loss. Way to go Matt!

It was a great win all around 6-0 – hopefully we can split the series with the Cubs!

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