Sunday, May 02, 2010

The High-Water Mark

I spent Saturday at the beach. I'm not much of a swimmer. And certainly not much of a tanner -- damn northern European genetics! But it's fun all the same.

So there I was Saturday, sitting at the Dogfish Head brewery, munching on a Chesapeake pizza and sipping a 90-minute IPA. I glanced over to the TVs by the bar and saw that Roy Halladay was up 10-0 or something over the Mets. Might as well have been 178-2. At that point -- banking on the L for the Mets, of course -- the Nats were .5 games out of first place. With a win that night, they'd claim a share of first place. As Chuck Slowes is wont to oversay, Unbelievable!

We know now that it wasn't to be. The Nats lost, dropping them to third. And another loss today -- with the Sunday night game still being played. (Man, Johann looked positively Bergmannesque out there!)

So is this the high-water mark? The point in the season at which it's the best to be a Nats fan? Was 6:05, Saturday May 1 as good as it gets?

We'll see. But let's take a look at what those other high-water marks were.

2004: November 22, when they named the team. Obviously the getting-the-team part might've been a bit more important, but things were always on the up after that. Speaking of up, I had forgotten about this potential DC logo.

2005: Some of you'll say opening night. But that overlooks the wild ride from the rest of the season. It's clearly Sunday, July 3. That finished up the first half -- a wild 5-4 12-inning win over the Cubs. The Nats were 50-31, in first place with the 4th best record in all of baseball and in the midst of a pennant race! Oh well.

2006: Wednesday April 5. After losing a close opening day game, the Nats beat Jorge Julio and evened their record at 1-1. That's as good as it got.

2007: Tuesday, August 7. A day after John "Balls of Steel" Lannan skunked Barry Bonds in the midst of his quest to bump off Hank Aaron, Mike "Dirty Mexican" Bacsik couldn't keep him in the park. But in a game everyone was watching, the Nats had the last laugh, winning 8-6. It wasn't that this game was particularly important, but the context of it... the team that most thought would be a laughingstock held its own on the big bad stage, and it actually felt kinda good to be a Nats fan... for at least one night.

2008: The easy answer is Opening Night. And that's probably the right answer. But I remember being delighted at the Nats 3-0 start, and actually driving with my sucker of a friend up to Philly. "Hey, that Manny Acta really must be a hell of a manager," I undoubtedly thought. Call me young and stupid. It really felt like the start of something special. The Nats pounded Jamie Moyer who, at one point, sported an ERA that could've been his birth year. Ryan Howard booted balls. And the Nats had a big lead. But this being Jason Bergmann, it wasn't to be. Then Jesus Colome came in and I've managed to black that part out. But those 4 days preceding that game? Sheer bliss.

2009: {null}


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