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Nats Fizzle In First Home Playoff Game In 79 Years

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Standing-room tickets were all that was available the day of the Nats playoff game, and the attendance was record-breaking.
Markette Smith
Standing-room tickets were all that was available the day of the Nats playoff game, and the attendance was record-breaking.

The Washington Nationals literally rolled out the red carpet for their first home game of the postseason. The red carpet during roll call is usually only reserved for the first game of the season, but since this is such a historic event, the first postseason home game in 79 years, the Nats pulled out all the stops.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said of the team, who were shut out 8-0 by the Cardinals. Starter Edwin Jackson gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk over 5 innings, prompting early and frequent calls on Twitter for young pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg to take over.

Fans started arriving as early as 9 a.m. to make sure they don't miss the excitement of the first home game of the playoffs. The mood was festive before the game and there was a sea of red packing Metro trains pulling into the stadium in the largest crowd at Nationals Stadium since it opened in 2005.

As one ticket holder put it: "This is so exciting, I can't stop smiling."

There was also a flyover by the 113th wing of the Air National Guard, after which fans erupted in a cheer of "Let's Go Nats!" The first pitch was thrown by former MVP and triple crown winner Frank Robinson, who was also the first manager of the Nationals in 2005.

The game ended just before 5 p.m. in the evening, unleashing the record Nationals Stadium crowd right into the middle of a rush hour crush on the Green Line.

Hopeful fans still have a chance of attending Thursday's game, which starts at 4 p.m.; the box office will sell a limited number of standing-room-only tickets Thursday morning.

NPR

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