Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Washington Nationals 1 at St. Louis Cardinals 4 - September 25, 2013

Is there anything better than weekday afternoon baseball, especially when the sun is shining in late September? Summer is taking a curtain call in St. Louis and the Cardinals obliged their fans by having a Wednesday afternoon game against the Washington Nationals. The crowd is happy to be out of work or school, and tickets are easily available as many fans can't make it due to grumpy bosses. I arrived at Busch Stadium just before game time and was handed a ducat by an extremely nice gentleman, who had an extra pair but was happy to give me just one.

The seat was low down in the left field boxes, a spot I don't particularly enjoy, so I moved into the upper deck. This gives great views of downtown and the Gateway Arch.

The Cardinals had a magic number of 3 to clinch the division, with the Pirates chasing them and also playing an afternoon affair. Jordan Zimmerman (below) started for the Nationals looking for his 20th win while his opponent was Shelby Miller, a rookie with a 14-9 record. I had seen Miller pitch in the Midwest League back in 2010 and was looking forward to seeing him again in a big league uniform.

Washington scored in the top of the first when Denard Span (above, leading off first) walked and stole second, then advanced to third on a groundout. Bryce Harper, wearing old-fashioned stirrups that should be mandatory (below) drove Span in with a single

That was it for Washington though, as Miller shut them down through six. St. Louis tied the game in the third on a Daniel Descalso double, Miller sacrifice, and Matt Carpenter RBI groundout. In the fourth, Matt Holliday (swinging below) was hit by a pitch to lead off. First baseman Matt Adams (one of my players to watch in 2010) then doubled and Yadier Molina singled them both home to make it 3-1. Adams added a solo shot in the sixth to complete the scoring as St. Louis saw their magic number drop to 1 when Pittsburgh lost.

The final score and game time, a very quick 2:28. I complain a lot about games that take well over 3 hours these days and it was nice to have a well-pitched game for a change.

That will be my final baseball game of the season, unless I find a cheap playoff ticket in Cleveland or Cincinnati. I've still got 25 games to go on the NFL road trip, including the 49ers at Rams tomorrow, so keep checking back for updates.



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