At Sunday’s matchup between the Nationals and Brewers, denizens of the outfield were treated to a bizarre September sun that affected veteran and rookie outfielder alike. I say bizarre because, when you think about it, the last time the sun would have had that particular angle on the field was in March. My own eyes are still reeling from my own attempt to stare up into that sky, to imagine trying to catch a little white ball lost in its bigger gaseous twin in the sky.
Behind me, after Harper had lost one in this burning mass in the fourth inning, a fan was coaching his children how to not look so foolish in the outfield. “You use your glove to create shade,” he was saying. Others speculated that a new brand of sunglasses was in order, or that perhaps he ought not to wear so much eyeblack. One interesting conversation centered on how difficult it was to see in those circumstances when you have very pale eyes, which Harper does.
Then, in the seventh, Werth, who had been shading to see the ball right up til it was right on him and he thought it was going to hit him in the face, ducked away. Clinic guy behind me, indignant: “I made that kind of play in high school all the time!”
So, ok, clearly he should have brought his cleats and rushed to take over for one of the pros. But it wasn’t a fun time. To add injury to insult, our little crew in Sec. 141 came away sunburnt and eye-fatigued. But we didn’t boo our guys. Nor did anyone within earshot.
But this is autumn, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the sun will come out tomorrow (er, today), as well. Maybe shagging flies in the outfield, as Davey Johnson suggested he will have them do, isn’t a bad idea at all.
But as for Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper, well. We still love them, and all our Nats. Here’s hoping they used up their quota of defensive gaffes yesterday. We’ll see in just a little bit, when the Outfield vs. Sun Monster rematch kicks off this afternoon.