“Could we just bottle this weather and have it at every home game this year?” Nationals announcer Dave Jageler beseeched Sunday afternoon, his voice echoing throughout the concourses, restrooms and box seats of a nearly full stadium on South Capitol Street.
“And could we freeze the standings, too?” answered a man in a No. 37 Stephen Strasburg jersey waiting in the Flippin’ Pizza line. “I kinda like first place.”
It was a perfect day for many things in Washington: lawn mowing and car washing, bike riding and park sitting. It was an April idyll just right for filling sidewalk tables from H Street to Wisconsin Avenue and dashing through fountains in Silver Spring or Georgetown. The checkout line in the garden center at the Hyattsville Home Depot was a dozen people long by 9 a.m.
In Springdale, the Jackson family was inspired by the weather to walk off a chicken and shrimp dinner with a hike from their home to Wegmans — 1.3 miles away in Glenarden — and back.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for some time, and because it is so glorious out, we decided this was a good day to start,” said Maria Jackson, 46, an insurance company government affairs director, walking with her husband, Eduardo, and twins Langston and Logan, 8.
Scott Scheurer, 24, was sitting outside of Northside Social, a restaurant in Arlington County, watching the Wilson Boulevard traffic go by and completing his to-do list for the day: “Sitting out here enjoying a big glass of wine . . . and being out of the house.”
But for the 25,679 people at the Nationals’ game, it was a day to blink as much in disbelief at the baseball team’s recent performance as at the brilliant sun. The sky was blue, the humidity was low, and the Nats were alone atop the National League East standings, a single game short of the best record in the majors.
By Sunday’s opening pitch, they had already clinched the four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds, their third series win in a row.
“This doesn’t even seem like D.C., does it?,” said Vince Tur-Rojas, standing at the rail behind Section 116 with a box of chicken fingers in one hand and a can of beer in the other.
He was still buzzing from the night before, when the Nats won their fifth game in row — in a complete-game, two-hitter by pitcher Edwin Jackson no less — and the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins to even the Stanley Cup conference quarterfinals.
“This is about as good as it. . . . Yeah! Go! Go!” Tur-Rojas interrupted himself, risking spilling his beer, to cheer for a two-run double by first baseman Adam LaRoche.
The Nats got off to a bad start Sunday, giving up a grand slam in the first inning. But by the seventh, they had battled back to a tie and guaranteed a day that was breezy, mild and thrilling.