Home / General / Darkness At Noon: Timothy Bracy Presents A Washington Nationals Diary During A Crucial Eleven Game Homestand

Darkness At Noon: Timothy Bracy Presents A Washington Nationals Diary During A Crucial Eleven Game Homestand


Timothy Bracy, reporting from the Sports Desk of The Paranoid Style:

Let me tell you how I typically watch the Nationals. I do not watch on TV, because I like my misery more mainlined and exquisite. Instead I watch the animation on the MLB site, which is a slow moving, human-adjacent nightmare simulacrum of baseball which always yields terrible results. Here is Wander Suero pitching in the 8th, soft tossing a red meat curveball into the middle of the strike zone. Pause. Here is MLB.com updating. A blue dot that connotes contact. A parenthetical: runs. How many runs? Another pause. If there are men on base – and in the 8th inning of a Nats game there most surely are – the number could range from one to four. The program loads. The number is four. Wander Suero just gave up a grand slam. The score is Opponent: 6 Nationals 4. This is how I watch the Nationals.

Bob Marley once assured me that everything was going to be alright, and he sounded convicted, so I assumed that was probably true. Now I am not so sure. The Nats, consensus favorites to rebound from last year and regain the NL East title are five games under .500 and in the midst of a crucial eleven game home stand. Four with the Diamondbacks, four with the Phillies, three with the Braves.

Look folks: my life is a robust feast. Take a picture and it would look like the inner sleeve of Beggars Banquet, except less gross. I am gainfully employed, provisionally healthy and married to the most beautiful woman plus greatest songwriter plus raddest journalist in the world. So, big picture, this eleven-game home stand for the Nationals means nothing to me. Or does it? How does three and one half months of regular season baseball with no hope of contending sound to you? Stop it, voices! I cast thee away!! As this diary will attest, the results of this homestand will NOT represent the major barometer for my personal well-being for the foreseeable future. Let’s get some runs!

6/13 7:05 PM

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

Nats fifth starter Eric Fedde gives up a lead off double and then walks the next two batters. I am filled with foreboding. My weather app informs me that the sun will not set for more than an hour, but in every other conceivable way it is a bleak and wretched midnight. Six innings later the score is Diamondbacks 5 – Nationals 0 and they are being no-hit by Zach Grienke. Forlorn, I turn my attention to the finale of Project Runway. Sebastian Grey prevails over Hester Sunshine and Garo Sparo, restoring a fleeting sense of justice to this erratic catastrophe of an existence. But who will tailor together the remnants of a lost season?


Diamondbacks 5 Nationals 0

Nationals Record: 31-37

6/14 7:05 PM

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

A return to normalcy, as Max Scherzer pitches seven strong innings and the Nationals’ bullpen holds on despite a couple of fear inducing frames. What a good team this is! Trea Turner is a terror on the basepaths! Howie Kendrick and Anthony Rendon homer!! A key two out RBI single from Juan Soto!!! I worry so much – too much. I need to be more trusting. Given it’s breadth, nature is restorative. Wheat separates from chaff, cream rises, there is a time to every purpose. My step is light and frivolous. I hear a joke and laugh! Laugh despite the deficit in the division. I am resigned to make more room for simple pleasures.


Nationals 7 Diamondbacks 3

Nationals Record: 32-37

6/15 4:05 PM

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

The old feelings have returned. Stephen Strasburg is shelled unmercifully in the first three innings as the Diamondbacks plate six runs with the offhand insouciance of an untroubled debutante. The Nationals’ attempts at responding are feeble- comical really. They score three in the bottom of the first and nothing more, stranding runner after runner much in the way we are stranded in this hapless, bothersome existence. That tremble you feel is the Earth shuddering as the unfeeling Gods who both organize and mock our pain cackle and bellow with glee. Volatile Zeus. Mischievous Hermes. Vengeful Poseidon. Do your worst, callow Oylmpians, and I know you will. Aníbal Sánchez is on the hill tomorrow.


Diamondbacks 10 Nationals 3

Nationals Record 32-38

6/16 1:35

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

Sánchez is really rounding in to form! Solid in his most recent outings following a brief stint on the DL, Aníbal allows a lead off home run and then settles in as the Nats build a big lead on the strength of homers from Rendon and Matt Adams. You know – maybe we can turn this thing around. How many games could it really take win the division? Would 92 do it? Can we go 59-34 from here on out? How hard could it be, really? As I put my head down to sleep I dream of the Autumn. The gentle swoon of the Anacostia River, just across from Nats Park. The eight foot tall former presidents, stretching in preparation for their antic footrace. Sean Doolittle on his bullpen cart, ready to close out our first ever championship. Finally, for once, I sleep. Now it’s four with the Phillies. Hi Bryce.


Nationals 15 Diamondbacks 5

Nationals Record: 33-38

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