For me, watching baseball is an act of simple mindfulness. It consumes my attention, lightly but fully. I’m not thinking of statistics or how likely match ups will play out – I’m just watching. And I love that about it. I love the uncertainty and that the uncertainty lasts until the final out. I also love the arc of the season, the steady accumulation of wins and losses, the way young players blossom and older players fade, the sudden impact of injury and jarring swiftness of trades – of seeing OUR players in another team’s uniform. This photo project – which was accidental at the start, and morphed over the season – connected my day-to-day lived experiences in Sydney and elsewhere to that ebb and flow of wins and losses in an equally mindful way – of just going out after a win, walking, looking, discovering my image. Sure, it would have been more fun if the Nationals had a better season, but this project was a joy, it really was.
It started so well – a win on opening day and more wins in quick succession. On that first day of the season, back in March – I was on a bush walk in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. When I checked my phone at Govetts Leap and learned the Nats had won I celebrated with a selfie and posted it on
Celebrating the #washingtonnationals 1st win of 2018 with a walk in the #bluemountains [ Friday March 30: Nationals (1-0) 2 – Cincinnati (0-1) 0]
As I walked on that afternoon, I amused myself with the idea of posting further photos whenever they won. Just whatever I was doing next, but something with red in it – and so the accidental project began.
At first, it was pretty easy and the photos were okay – I mean, I wasn’t really trying that hard to have good photos, just something red, once they’d won.
Celebrating the #washingtonnationals 2nd win of 2018 with a red-wrapped Cadbury chocolate egg. [ Saturday 31 March: Nationals (2-0) 13 – Cincinnati (0-2) 7]
Pretty quickly I made rules – because that’s how I roll.
Take the photo between the end of the win and the start of the next game – so no saving images, shoot today for today’s win
Only shoot any image once. So if I saw something good and shot it, but ended up finding something better later in the day I couldn’t return and shoot that same thing again later in the project. Once I got serious about trying to take good photos – around mid-season – it meant I went out on proper photo-walks and sometimes decided, say, the light wasn’t right for today so I won’t shoot that thing now but might come back to it later.
But in the beginning it was all still a bit random – what red thing could I shoot just after the Nationals had won. Oh, look, tomatoes!
Celebrating the #washingtonnationals 3rd win of the 2018 season with an egg & bacon everything bagel. [ Sunday 1 April: Nationals (3-0) 6 – Cincinnati Reds (0-3) 5]
Given the time difference between the places the Nationals play and Sydney, where I live, I was often at work at the end of games and would look for something handy. A Monday night game was being played Tuesday morning my time.
Nothing like a fresh cup of coffee to celebrate the #washingtonnationals 4th win of the 2018 season. [ Monday 2 April: Nationals (4-0) 8 – Atlanta Braves (2-2) 1]
I started thinking of props but still wasn’t giving the quality of the photos too much thought. I did like the brickwork and shadow here, but I didn’t even manage to get my Cherry Ripe in focus.
Celebrating the #washingtonnationals 5th win of the season and the #maxscherzer shut out, and stolen base with my #cadbury #cherryripe [Monday 9 April: Atlanta Braves (6-4) 0 – Nationals (5-5) 2]
Food was becoming a theme.
Celebrating the #washingtonnationals 6th win of the season with a #redvelvet #cupcake. [ Tuesday 10 April: Atlanta Braves (6-5) 1 – Nationals (6-5) 4]
When they were scheduled to play the Rockies on a Saturday afternoon in April – I invited a few friends round to watch the game on delay Sunday afternoon. We had chilli cheese dogs (not quite as good as Ben’s Chilli Bowl’s) and chips with homemade guacamole and skipped over the ad breaks. But I failed to take a photo, grrr, so that evening when I made dinner, I was left with this.
Celebrating the #washingtonnationals 7th win with an easy Sunday night pasta. [ Saturday 14 April: Colorado Rockies (8-8) 2 – Nationals (7-8) 6]
The next day I wore red to work, so it was time for a selfie.
Celebrating the @nationals 8th win of the season with a lunchtime stroll to Circular Quay. [ Monday 16 April: Nationals (8-9) 8 – New York Mets (12-3) 6]
When they won again the following day, I thought I best do another selfie.
Baseball fans are nothing if not superstitious – so I’ve celebrated the @nationals 9th win with the same lunchtime stroll to Circular Quay as I did to mark their 8th win. [ Tuesday 17 April: Nationals (9-9) 5 – New York Mets (12-4) 2]
By now it was well into April and I had scheduled to take the week of
Anzac Day off of work and go on a bicycle tour around the Goulburn region of New South Wales. My first day out riding the Nationals won.
Celebrating the @nationals 10th win with a meat pie and a Carlton Draught at the Bushranger Hotel. [ Friday 20 April: Nationals (10-10) 5 – Los Angeles Dodgers (8-10) 2]
Sadly, that was the only game they won the whole week I was away but I did get these new socks on the trip.
Celebrating the @nationals 11th win by admiring my new socks from the Linder Sock Factory in #crookwell #newsouthwales [ Wednesday 25 April: Nationals (11-14) 15 – San Francisco Giants (11-13) 2]
If you want to read about my bicycle ride and look at the accompanying photos – I wrote several blog posts about it, the first one
can be found here.
The boys were doing it tough in late April and it was a long time between drinks, as they say. You’d think with the long gap I might have come up with something more interesting that raspberries on my muesli, but no.
It took a while but I’m celebrating the @nationals 12th win with raspberry topped birchir muesli. Yum. [ Sunday 29 April: Arizona Diamondbacks (19-8) 1 – Nationals (12-16) 3]
Bear with me, eventually the photos get better. But for now, more food.
Look, of course I pleased the @nationals have now won two games in a row, but 13 wins by 30 April doesn’t call for an exuberant celebration – so a simple lunch at my desk catching up with @chelsea_janes latest in the @washingtonpost will do. [ Monday April 30: Pittsburgh Pirates (17-12) 2 – Nationals (13-16) 3]
Three @nationals wins in a row, to bring up 14 on the season, calls for a bit of celebration: Jamie’s lunch-special ragu with a cheeky house red – the better to write by this afternoon, surely. [ Tuesday 1 May: Pittsburgh Pirates (17-13) 4 – Nationals (14-16) 12]
Four in a row! @nationals are getting it done. Celebrating this 15th win with a lunchtime walk to appreciate what a dead-set gorgeous day it is in Sydney town. [ Wednesday 2 May: Pittsburgh Pirates (17-14) 3 – Nationals (15-16) 9]
16 wins! Five in a row! A series sweep! Back to .500! And still waiting for Rendon, Eaton, and Murphy. Let’s go @nationals [ Thursday 3 May: Pittsburgh Pirates (17-15) 1 – Nationals (16-16) 1]
Celebrating the @nationals 17th win, 6th in a row (!!), and Cinco de Mayo with a $5 burrito at @guzmanygomez [ Friday 4 May: Philiadelphia Phillies (17-14) 3 – Nationals (17-16) 7]
Selfies while wearing my Nats hat were almost the laziest photos of the whole project only topped by this one.
Celebrating @nationals 18th win with a little happy dance with the Game Over screen on @mlb ‘s At Bat [ Sunday 6 May: Philadelphia Phillies (18-15) 4 – Nationals (18-17) 5]
An empty chocolate bar wrapper on my desk is also pretty lazy but a little creative. Just a little.
Celebrated the @nationals win 19 with a little Picnic at my desk. [ Monday 7 May: Nationals (19-17) 8 – San Diego Padres (13-23) 5]
Photographically, anyway, I felt the tide turning for win number 20.
Celebrating the @nationals 20th win with a walk to Martin Place. [ Tuesday 8 May: Nationals (20-17) 4 – San Diego Padres (13-24) 0]
Celebrated the @nationals 21st win with a screening of @midnightoilband ‘s 1984 (awesome) and the tease of the coming film of their Armistice Day gig at the Domain. [Thursday 10 May: Nationals (21-18) 2 – Arizona Diamondbacks (24-13) 1, in 11 innings]
Getting into late April and the weather the boys were playing in and the weather I was watching in really began to diverge as the United States headed towards summer and Sydney headed towards winter.
Celebrating @nationals win no. 22 with a skim #flatwhite and a good book (#fasterhigherfarther) on a #grey #chilly #sydney arvo. [ Friday 11 April: Nationals (22-18) 3 – Arizona Diamondbacks (24-14) 1]
I realised I had some friends who were passively following the season through my posts and thought I’d offer a summary.
Celebrated the @nationals 23rd win with a good session at the gym. For those following the Washington Nationals season solely through my feed … They are now 23-18, lead the National League’s Eastern Division in wins, but are in 3rd place because of losses. They are 1 game behind 1st place Atlanta, and a half game behind 2nd place Philadelphia. On the week they’ve gone 6-1 with 6 games on the road. They’ve won all 3 series over that stretch (taking 2 of 3 from the Phillies, same at San Diego, and now 3 in a row off Arizona). This coming week they’ve one more game there, an off day, hosting the Yankees for 2, another off day, the the Dodgers roll into town for the weekend. [ Saturday 12 May: Nationals (23-18) 2 – Arizona Diamondbacks (24-15) 1]
I quite liked this one – the long black shadow, the coffee.
The #piccolo tastes better, and the #sunshine is warmer when celebrating the @nationals 24th win. Four game sweep in the desert, well done boys. [ Sunday 13 May: Nationals (24-18) 6 – Arizona Diamondbacks (24-16) 4]
Celebrating the @nationals 25th win with the novelty of a lunchtime gym session and a #happy-cry or two for #juansoto ( Monday 21 May: San Diego Padres (20-29) 2 – Nationals (25-21) 10)
This may have been the worst photo of the lot.
Celebrated @nationals win number 26 with cheap and cheerful Chinese food in the Hunter Connection Food Court. [Tuesday 22 May: San Diego Padres (20-30) 1 – Nationals (26-21) 2]
Celebrating the Nationals 27th win by finishing my Saturday 5km strong. First time I’ve run the whole thing – and I was a bit dusty from Friday night. So yay Nats and yay me. [ Friday 25 May: Nationals (27-22) 9 – Miami Marlins (19-31) 5]
Celebrating the @nationals 28th win with a Sunday morning, post-gym 2nd breakfast of pancakes topped with sour cherries, bacon on the side. [ Saturday 26 May: Nationals (28-22) 4 – Miami Marlins (19-32) 1]
This might run a close second for worst photo, I think.
Waking to the @nationals 29th win makes the brekkie tastes better. [ Sunday 27 May: Nationals (29-22) 5 – Miami Marlins (19-33) 2]
Celebrated the @nationals 30th win – which happened overnight for me – with a pre-dawn training session. [ Monday 28 May: Nationals (30-22) 6 – Baltimore Orioles (17-37) 0]
I attended an event in Canberra. The Nats won during morning speeches – I noticed this speaker, a member of Parliament, was wearing red.
Celebrating the @nationals 31st win (5th in a row, now tied for 1st in the NLE) with @susantemplemanmp (she didn’t know a celebration was afoot) while attending the #assocforum Meet the Politicians event. [ Nationals (31-22) 3 – Baltimore Orioles (17-38) 2]
Today I needed to celebrate with a bit of everyday beauty. A good thing about the coming of winter temps in Sydney is the great light. @nationals won game number 31 behind another gem by #31 @maxscherzer31 – yay team! Oops – that was win number 32. Been winning so much lately, hard to keep track. [Wednesday 30 May: Nationals (32-22) 2 – Baltimore Orioles (17-39) 0]
At the beginning of June went for a weekend away with my friend Matthew to visit some friends of his; we all went for a ride together.
The @nationals 33rd win was pretty crazy – gots to love a @maxscherzer31 14th inning pinch hit single, followed by a @wilmerdifo01 triple, to plate the go ahead run. So I celebrated with a nice long bicycle ride in the Hawkesbury area with Howard Mitchell and Matthew Harris, who took the pic. [ Saturday 2 June: Nationals (33-24) 5 – Atlanta Braves (34-24) 3, in 14 innings]
After their 35th win I went for a coffee and sat an watched people going past in the rain waiting for people in red.
Celebrating the @nationals 35th win with a #lunchtime #coffee while watching the world go past on a #rainy #sydney #afternoon – daydreaming about immaculate @maxscherzer31 — at Will & Co.
Celebrated the @nationals smashing 35th win with my workmate Anji. [ Wednesday 6 June: Tampa Bay Rays (28-32) 2 – Nationals (35-25) 11]
On a wet chilly Sunday I went up to Manly for a pedicure and the Nats won while I was in the chair. The markets were on and these tulips brought a bit of spring into our autumn.
Celebrating the @nationals 36th win admiring the blooms at the #manly #markets on a #rainy #sunday [ Saturday 9 June: San Francisco Giants (32-32) 5 – Nationals (36-26) 7]
@nationals scored 5 runs to defeat the dreaded Yankees. Celebrating win number 37 and the remarkable day #juansoto had – with this tally-mark and groovy #martinplace #reflection [Wednesday 13 June: Nationals (37-28) 5 – New York Yankees (43-21) 4]
In real life @rachel.r.price ‘s #gumboots are very #red and well-suited to the #weather in #sydney today. I admire them while #celebrating the @nationals 25th win – a rain-delayed game from 15 May they finally finished. (Thank you #juansoto ) They’ve actually won 38 games in 2018. [ Monday 18 June: New York Yankees (28-13) 3 – Nationals (25-18) 5]
Celebrating the @nationals 39th win – one which looked like it might have slipped away – with a #lunchtime #barangaroo #tunnel #selfie (as you do – shrug). [ Tuesday 19 June: Baltimore Orioles (20-51) 7 – Nationals (39-32) 9]
As far as I’m concerned this next photo is when I started trying harder to compose my shots. This woman in red passed me and I knew she’d be walking under the bird cages, so I followed, in hopes of something good.
It was a gorgeous #winter day in #sydney. I #celebrate the @nationals 40th win of 2018 with a #photo #stroll to #angelplace and the #publicart there: #forgottensongs [Thursday 21 June: Baltimore Orioles (21-52) 2 – Nationals (40-33) 4]
The @nationals 41st win sure helped warm up this chilly #sydney day along with this #heater and the #coffee I drank in it’s radiating heat. [ Sunday 24 June: Philadelphia Phillies (41-34) 6 – Nationals (41-35) 8]
After I took that photo I went back to my office where I was pulled into a meeting with my manager and the human resources manager and made redundant. Which, well, was probably a good thing in the grand scheme of things. Sure I’d have less income but I could watch Nationals games live (not just listen or keep an eye on them on GameDay) and put more effort into the photos.
The @nationals 41st win of 2018 – a crazy 17-7 win over the Phils after a long offensive draught – somehow made this perfect #winter #sydney #saturday just a bit perfecter. [ Friday 29 June: Nationals (42-38) 17 – Philadelphia Phillies (43-37) 7]
This might be my favourite photo of the lot. I love the painterly vibe – this was at night and the streetlights cast the light which made this one a bit magical.
I wanted to shoot something a little bit special to celebrate the @nationals 43rd win of the season – they came back from 9-0 to win 14-12 to get to .500 ball – it was a big deal @tvturner hit his first career grand slam and tied the record for RBIs for a lead-off batter (8). I feel like this still-life-painterly #nofilter shot of @theflowerroom was just the thing. [ Thursday 5 July: Miami Marlins (36-53) 12 – Nationals (43-43) 14]
Win number 44 for the @nationals – a walk-off home run from #markreynolds – on a beautiful #saturday in #sydney. So to mark the start of #naidocweek – and because I was in #redfern – I celebrated with a bit of #aboriginal #streetart. Also in the spirit of #perseverance – where that of the #firstpeople of #australia is on a whole different scale than the #nats but still, perseverance [ Friday 6 July: Miami Marlins (36-54) 2 – Nationals (44-43) 3]
After the @nationals thrilling 45th win of the season (18-4 over Miami, yes, I know it’s just Miami) with #mattreynolds getting 5 hits, 10 RBI – I went to the @artgalleryofnsw to see a film and look at art. I thought I’d find someone who looked like Reynolds in a painting – and I did, but then I took this and liked it best. [ Saturday 7 July: Miami Marlins (36-55) 4 – Nationals (45-43) 18]
Being unemployed meant I could go to the art gallery in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week.
The @nationals 46th win of the season again found me at the Art Gallery of NSW. I was drawn to this painting as the expression on the girl’s face captures, I think, the mood of many #nats fans – not so much anger (though the title of this Charles Blackman painting is Angry young girl) as frustration that this team is scuffling and stumbling into the All-Star break with a .500 record and 5.5 games out of 1st. Let’s go boys! [ Tuesday 10 July: Nationals (46-45) 5 – Pittsburgh Pirates (42-49) 1]
Being unemployed also meant I could just go out, camera in hand, after a win and walk around to see what interesting red things I could find.
Well, how could I pass this by while out looking for a shot to mark the @nationals 47th win? If only it had been a @giogonzalez47 victory. [ Thursday 12 July: Nationals (47-46) 5 – New York Mets (34-54) 4]
Any day which includes both a @nationals win and a stroll along #circularquay is a good one. The #nats defeated the #mets to enter the #allstargame break 48-48 5.5 games out of 1st. They need #health and #hustle to make a run for it in the second half. [ Sunday 15 July: Nationals (48-48) 6 – New York Mets (39-55) 1]
If only there were some brown eyes mixed in among the blue ones – this bit of #steetart would have been even better for celebrating the @nationals 49th win cos it was #maxscherzer ‘s 13th win. [ Sunday 22 July: Atlanta Braves (53-43) 2 – Nationals (49-49) 6]
I woke to learn the @nationals had (finally) won their 50th game of the season, and won it well. Later I had coffee and enjoyed the winter sun. [ Wednesday 25 July: Nationals (50-51) 7 – Milwaukee Brewers (58-46) 3]
Yesterday I was walking out of coffee with a friend when I learned the @nationals had won their 51st game of the season. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll turn this thing around. The shadow on this awning caught my eye as I rode home. [ Thursday 26 July: Nationals (51-51) 10 – Miami Marlins (44-60) 3]
The @nationals clocked up their 52nd win of the season, getting above .500 again, behind another masterful @maxscherzer31 performance, this on his birthday. But I barely left the house, so today was a day for a picture out my window. [ Friday 27 July: Nationals (52-51) 9 – Miami Marlins (44-61) 1]
In their 53rd win of the season the @nationals scored as many runs as there are tiles in this mosaic. Well, 25 anyway – and that was heaps fun to watch. [ Tuesday 31 July: New York Mets (44-60) 4 – Nationals (53-53) 25]
The @nationals 54th win inspired a bit of found modern art. Tones of Red at Newtown [ Wednesday 1 August: New York Mets (44-61) 3 – Nationals (54-53) 5]
The @nationals won the 3rd in a row, 55th for the season – and @maxscherzer31 won his 15th, he’s also batting almost .300. Meanwhile, I had dinner at Spice Alley. [ Thursday 2 August: Cincinnati Reds (48-61) 4 – Nationals (55-53) 10]
By this point in the season, I felt like my eye had really tuned in to spotting good splashes of red that I could work with. I saw this shadow and curtain as I was riding my bicycle past this building in Redfern.
The @nationals lost one, and won one to reach 56 wins, 54 losses. Still 6 games behind the Phillies with 52 games to play. Meanwhile, the winter sun in Sydney is casting beautiful shadows. [S aturday 4 August: Cincinnati Reds (49-62) 2 – Nationals (56-54) 6]
It was the rare rainy day in Sydney when I woke to news of am overnight win by the @nationals. Number 57 was a good one – another solid start from Tanner Roark, Matt Wieters’ 1st home run since April, an RBI double from @bharper3407 (batting .367 since the All-Star break) – to win 2-1 over the Reds. All while I slept. [57-54, 6 games behind the Phils, 51 games to play] [ Sunday 5 August: Cincinnati Reds (49-63) 1 – Nationals (57-54) 2]
I woke yesterday to the good news of the @nationals 58th win – and was listening to what would be loss 55 as I headed to Manly. As I post this they are 58-55, 5.5 games behind the Phillies and down 3-1 to Atlanta in the 4th inning, wait, make that 5-1 *sigh*. [ Tuesday 7 August: Atlanta Braves (60-49) 3 – Nationals (58-54) 8]
I woke to another gorgeous winter Sydney day and the news of the @nationals 59th win – great job by @giogonzalez47. They are now 59-56, 5 1/2 games behind the Phillies. #nostopping [ Thursday 9 August: Atlanta Braves (62-50) 3 – Nationals (59-56) 6]
This morning I woke up just in time to hear Ryan Zimmerman’s 2nd home run of the game. After the @nationals closed out win #60 I walked through the back alleys of Newtown to get coffee at Grace & Taylor. The #nats are now 60-57, 5.5 games back, with 45 to play. [ Saturday 11 August: Nationals (60-57) 9 – Chicago Cubs (67-49) 4]
What followed was a long week of losing until they finally picked up number 61.
It’s taken a while, and been a painful journey, but the @nationals have won their 61st game of the season. Yay! Sigh. Meanwhile, in Sydney … People went home after work. [Thursday 16 August: Nationals (61-61) 5 – St Louis Cardinals (66-56) 4]
It has been a while since the @nationals have won two in a row, it’s a nice thing. Another awesome game from @maxscherzer31 – if he’s ever in Sydney I’d sit him down in this booth and buy him a beer even though he makes, like, a billion dollars – just cos he’s so much fun to watch. 62-61, 7 games out of first, 5.5 out if the Wild Card. Ain’t over til it’s over. [ Friday 17 August: Miami Marlin (48-76) 2 – Nationals (62-61) 8]
When the @nationals dug deep and won big on the day they traded away Daniel Murphy I went looking for something good and gay with which to celebrate and farewell Murph – a hell of a player who is seemingly learning, perhaps, maybe, that ‘disagreeing’ with ‘the gay lifestyle’ is just plain old-fashioned bigotry. ( ) Anyway, they won 10-4 over the Phils and are 63-63, 7.5 games out, with 36 to go. [ Billy Bean is now friends with Daniel Murphy, who ‘disagreed with gay lifestyle’ Tuesday 21 August: Philadelphia Phillies (68-57) 4 – Nationals (63-63) 10]
It happened while I was catching up with a friend. Even while we were at the cafe I was casting an occasional eye to At Bat to see the score. But then, we went walking along the Cronulla shore. They were down, in the 9th – I put my phone away. An hour later, when I checked the final score I had to look twice – they’d won! In a walk-off! OMG, I think I might have jumped a little jump for joy. So the @nationals are 64-63, still 7.5 out, with only 35 to play. But that one felt good. Well done boys – especially Ryan Zimmerman and @juansoto_25 [ Wednesday 22 August: Philadelphia Phillies (68-58) 7 – Nationals (64-63) 8]
I woke in the night. I wasn’t falling back to sleep straight away, I knew, and the game was on so I turned in to find the @nationals had broken their long run of scoreless innings. As I listened, @bharper3407 hit a bases-clearing pinch hit double, putting the boys up 5-0. I went back to sleep then. In the end they won their 65th game if the season 15-0. Great start by @jefryrodriguez26 – 2 hits, no runs over six innings. But Atlanta and the Phillies both won as well – so, 8.5 out with only 31 to play. Enjoy the wins like blooms on a windy day. [ Sunday 26 August: Nationals (65-66) 15 – New York Mets (58-72) 0]
Stras pitched well, Wieters hit a home run, the boys produced runs and won 5-3 over the Phillies. I noticed today’s date has three 8s in it (28.08.2018) – so these lucky cats seemed appropriate. The @nationals will need the triple fortune of 888 and the luck bestowed by these maneki-neko to make the playoffs. But it’s a joy to get to watch them play, regardless. [ Monday 27 August: Nationals (66-66) 5 – Philadelphia Phillies (70-61) 3]
Before being made redundant I had booked a holiday to the States – to see friends and family, hit a couple of Nats games, and go for a long bicycle ride. The day before I flew out, the Nats won their 67th.
I’m now a bit jetlagged and in Washington DC but on Wednesday Sydney time the @nationals won their 67th game of the season and I took a picture of this cool art at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. [ Tuesday 28 August: Nationals (67-66) 5 – Philadelphia Phillies (70-62) 4]
And, just like that, they won for me in person!
68th win of the @nationals season was the best yet simply because I was there to watch in person. They were down 3-1 when the rain came in the 8th. After nearly two-hours wait, and before a much shrunken crowd, the boys came back! Scoring 4 – with @juansoto_25 doing Juan Soto things – gave up one more but held on to put a Curly W in the books. By then it was so late – well after midnight – that the team mascot #screech was already in his jammies when he came out to wave his #natswin flag. [ Saturday 1 September: Milwaukee Brewers (76-61) 4 – Nationals (68-68) 5]
Usually, when I’m at home in Sydney, I don’t get to watch day games because they are on in the middle of the night. So it was a pleasure to spend a searingly hot Baltimore afternoon on my friend’s couch watching the @nationals chalk up their 69th win, 4-3 in the 10th inning, thanks to some @bharper3407 heroics. It was Labor Day here and these cakes were on display at the grocery store – I don’t remember the flag being a big part in Labor Day festivities when I was a kid. Nowadays every American occasion seems to call for flag-waving. [ Monday 3 September: St Louis Cardinals (76-62) 3 – Nationals (69-69) 4, in 10 innings]
So yesterday, over a long, rain delayed day, the @nationals won two games. The first, a complete game win from @maxscherzer31 – his league-leading 17th win of the season. Yay Max, he good. Today, I rode my bicycle in the rain along the semi-flooded C&O Canal Towpath from Harpers Ferry to Shepherdstown- this pic was taken through the ziplock bag protecting the phone. [ Saturday 8 September: Chicago Cubs (83-58) 3 – Nationals (70-72) 10]
Then in the evening and wee hours last night, the @nationals won their 71st game by coming back after another rain delay – and #seandoolittle struck out #danielmurphy on 3 pitches (yay). I ended my very wet ride today at Scott & Jen’s place. They made chilli and Jiffy Corn Muffins – nom, nom, nom. [ Saturday 8 September: Chicago Cubs (83-59) 5 – Nationals (71-72) 6]
The @nationals are playing another rain-induced double header. This afternoon they recorded their 72nd win of the season defeating the Phillies 3-1. @erickfedde struck out 9, which is cool. Meanwhile, I was overnighting in Cumberland, Maryland where the streets are very photogenic. [ Tuesday 11 September: Nationals (72-72) 3 – Philadelphia Phillies (74-69) 1]
It had become a bit hard to post photos as they won as I was riding my bicycle towards Pittsburgh – but I was taking the photos as needed, to post when I could.
Fear not. I have not given up on my Nats Win project. I’ve been on the move and not had time to process and post. Back on the 11th, the @nationals won both games in their doubleheader @phillies. The second win was their 73rd win of the season – they took it in the 10th courtesy of a @juansoto_25 home run. The following morning I set out from Cumberland, Maryland to ride to Rockwood, Pennsylvania on the GAP Trail. These bricks are Magruder Street in Cumberland. [ Tuesday 11 September: Nationals (73-72) 7 – Philadelphia Phillies (74-70) 6, in 10 innings]
Then on the 12th @nationals beat the @phillies again, for their 74th win of the season. #stephenstrasburg struck out 9 while #ryanzimmerman @bharper3407 and @juansoto_25 hit home runs in the 5-1 win. On the morning of the 13th I set out afresh on the GAP trail from Rockwood, Pennsylvania. Here they need to tell people that shooting is not allowed. [ Wednesday 12 September: Nationals (74-72) 5 – Philadelphia Phillies (74-71) 1]
On the 15th the @nationals won their 75th of the season in an afternoon game at the @braves They won 7-1 courtesy of 14 walks and @juansoto_25 becoming the youngest player ever to steal three bases in one game. . While that was happening I was finishing my ride to Pittsburgh. There, I stayed with my aunt and found these glass clowns on a shelf. [ Saturday 15 September: Nationals (75-74) 7 – Atlanta Braves (83-56) 1]
On the 16th the @nationals defeated the @braves 6-4 for their 76th win of the season. #tannerroark got the Win, and #seandoolittle the Save with a perfect 9th. Both @bharper3407 and #anthonyrendon hit home runs. They won while I wandered around the Mexican War Streets neighbourhood of Pittsburgh. There I spotted this chair waiting for a sitter. [ Sunday 16 September: Nationals (76-74) 6 – Atlanta Braves (83-66) 4]
On the 18th the @nationals chalked up their 77th win of the season defeating the @marlins 4-2 in Miami. #stephenstrasburg struck out 11 including 6 in a row. @bharper3407 walked 5 times. 5. Meanwhile, I had moved on to Chicago and I spent some time at my childhood library, the @evanstonpubliclibrary – where they need to post that you can’t bring in your gun. [ Tuesday 18 September: Nationals (77-75) 4 – Miami Marlins (59-92) 2]
Yesterday afternoon the @nationals – now sadly eliminated from contention – shut out the @mets 6-0 for their 78th win of the season. #austinvoth got his 1st MLB win and @tvturner and #mattweiters hit home runs. In the evening I rode my bicycle around #evanston and spotted this scene of #american #suburbia. [ Saturday 22 September: New York Mets (72-83) 0 – Nationals (78-77) 0]
While I was flying from Chicago to Los Angeles the @nationals won their 79th game of the season defeating the @marlins 7-3. @bharper3407 drove in his 100th run – his first ever 100 RBI season. @juansoto_25 , #anthonyrendon , and #mattweiters hit home runs. [ Monday 24 September: Miami Marlins (62-94) 3 – Nationals (79-78) 7]
While I had a last drink with an American friend at LAX the @nationals won their 80th game of the season defeating the @marlins 9-4. @maxscherzer31 got his NL leading 18th win and became only the 17th pitcher since 1900 to strike out 300 batters in a season. I would have liked to find something with the number 300 or 31 or blue & brown to photograph, but didn’t. So, you have the @qantas ‘Nullarbor’ which winged me home from #losangeles to #Sydney [ Tuesday 25 September: Miami Marlins (62-95) 4 – Nationals (80-78) 9]
Yesterday Qantas delivered me home to #sydney from LA in time to follow the @nationals final home game of 2018. They led 9-3 when rain stalled play in the 7th and the win was awarded to the Nats, their 81st of the season. . @roblesdlopez19 went 4-for-5 with a double and a triple, batting in 5; @kieboom22 drove in 3, going 2-for-3. But the day was much about @bharper3407 – as he enters free agency and this may have been his final game in DC in the home whites. I’d have liked to find something a bit more Bryce-like to photograph but liked these #chairs as a companion piece to my recent pic from Pittsburgh. [ Wednesday 26 September: Miami Marlins (62-96) 3 – Nationals (81-78) 9, Final in 7 (Rain)]
The #banksia is in bloom, spring is in the air in #sydney, and the @nationals season is down to one last game. They earned their 82nd win in their penultimate game today – defeating the @rockies 12-2 behind a solid #stephenstrasburg start and @juansoto_25 hit his 22nd home run. The Rockies are trying to claim their first division title – and I want that to happen for them and for @tylermaun – just without them having to beat the Nats. . This has been a fun project – not as fun as it would have been if it had been a better season for the Nats, and I’ll miss it when it’s done. Hopefully, I’ll have one more post. [ Saturday 29 September: Nationals (82-79) 12 – Colorado Rockies (90-71) 2]
I didn’t have one more post. The Nats lost their last game of 2018 to finish with a 82-80 record and, for the first time since 2015 they didn’t proceed to the post-season.
As the fans of 29 of the 30 teams say at the end of every season – wait until next year.