Thursday, March 22, 2007

Meltdown on a Cool Night

We traveled today to Viera, Florida, a planned residential community near Melbourne, Florida. Viera is the home of Space Coast Stadium where the Washington Nationals train. Space Coast Stadium was completed in 1993. With a capacity of 8,100, the stadium is spacious and well-appointed. Like its surroundings, though, it has a very generic feel to it; I hope that in the future management will consider adding some touches that will make it more distinctive. Also, the public address system desperately needs help. I was sitting close enough to the young lady who sang the National Anthem that I could tell that she had a very nice voice. Unfortunately, the system distorted it terribly. The foul pole screens are memorials to the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, which is a nice touch. There was a steady breeze that made it feel pretty cool; the only refreshment I purchased was a cup of coffee.

The Braves got off to a 3-0 first lead in the first inning, the result of a Jeff Francoeur double and an Andrew Jones two-run homer, a mammoth shot just to the right of center field. It was encouraging to see Andruw drive the ball without pulling it. Andruw appears to be in very good shape this year. Starting pitcher Mark Redman struggled early but survived five innings, giving up two runs on eight hits. Reliever Rafael Soriano looked very impressive for the second time this week. The Nationals came back to win, scoring three runs off Jonathan Johnson for a 6-5 victory; the winning run came on a bases-loaded walk.

Tomorrow we will see the Braves play the Mets at Disney.

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