Sunday, September 28, 2014
The Fan Club’s traditional final Sunday home game trip to Nationals Park resulted in an extra-special historical treat this year: the Nats’ very first no-hitter! The proof is in the MASN broadcast: during Adeiny Hecchavarria’s 3rd inning at-bat, the centerfield camera panned down the left field line. Pause the broadcast and you’ll see all of us cheering on Jordan Zimmermann from Section 110.
What a thrill to be on hand for such a historical occasion! Only two of us on the trip had ever experienced a Major League no-hitter prior to this date: Bill Given attended one in the 90s while I was fortunate enough to be invited to witness Roy Halladay’s playoff no-hitter versus Cincinnati.
Nats Park was electric as the innings ticked by. Ian Desmond’s line drive homer into the Marlins pen accounted for the only scoring, so the game was always in doubt.
Nationals starters would exit to standing ovations as more recent Senators took the field. Ryan Zimmerman, trying to work in some ABs following his DL stint, would be the last to depart as Steven Souza, Jr. trotted out to left field for the 9th inning.
None of us sat through the final two innings as Jordan put away Marlin after Marlin. His only perfect game blemish was a mid-inning walk to rookie Justin Bour.
After 26 outs, Christian Yelich battled and laced what appeared to be a gapper, splitting between Souza and Michael Taylor to snuff the drama. As Steven laid out, he snagged the liner and rolled over to preserve the victory and the team’s very first no-hitter.
The aftermath was as much fun as the very efficiently played game. None of the 35,085 left or even wanted to leave. This is the last day of the regular season. Nationals baseball would take on a very different feel from this point forward.
Even the 8-year-old sitting next to me, attending his first ever MLB game, seemed to grasp the magnitude of what we’d just witnessed. Our bus was abuzz the entire way home.
The moral of this story? Don’t miss another Senators Fan Club event. You never know what you’re going to experience.