Photo by Traci Zuckerman / SPECIAL TO NATS INSIDER
President Obama, noted White Sox fan, made an unannounced visit to Nationals Park.
Little did any of us realize the highlight of the evening would have nothing to do with Strasburg, but rather the guy in the White Sox cap sitting in a suite one section and a few rows back to their right.
From their seats in Section 207, my family had a nice view of the field. They had an even better view of President Obama, who made an unannounced visit to Nationals Park to see his Sox take on Strasburg in what turned into a taut pitchers' duel with Gavin Floyd.
The President stuck around longer than Strasburg did, but he had already left the park by the time the game was decided in the 11th on a nearly brilliant play by Ryan Zimmerman, who made a spectacular stop of Alex Rios' smash down the third-base line but threw just a smidge too high to first for Adam Dunn to haul it in.
"It was weird," said Drew Storen, who was on the mound at the time. "Right off the bat, I'm going, 'Alright, that's by him.' And then it was, 'Whoa! OK, nice play!' And then you just kind of go, 'Awwww.' I was just on edge the whole time. But that was a heck of a play."
A heck of a play, yes. But still the deciding play in a 2-1 loss. The Nationals have now lost four in a row. They've scored a total of 11 runs in those games, striking out 40 times while drawing only five walks (two of them intentional).
"It's tough, but it's a professional group in there," Jim Riggleman said. "Those guys are pros. They've been through a little bit of everything. They're staying positive. They look in the mirror and realize: 'Every one of us, we all went up to the plate to hit and just couldn't get it done tonight against Floyd."
Losing streak aside, some players were able to appreciate this game for what it was: a well-played, well-pitched, tense game in front of a raucous crowd that included the leader of the free world. Even if he was rooting for the visiting team.
"He's still the President," Storen said. "I can't say I've ever had the President come to one of my games before. It's pretty nice to have that."
The members of the Zuckerman and Friend families seated in Section 207 concurred.
All photos by Rachel and Traci Zuckerman for Nats Insider.