It'll be a pink-hat invasion at Nats Park tonight, when the Boston Red Sox make their first trip to DC since 1971. To Stan Kasten's delight, the stands will be packed. To hardcore Nats fans' anger (all 400 of 'em), the stands will be packed with Sox fans. Just call it Camden Yards South for a night.
Given the number of New Englanders who live in the area, the place is sure to be lousy with chowdah connoisseurs. They're the kinds of people that Rob Dibble would dismissively tweet were "getting phd's from harvard." The nerve of some people.
It'll be a tough series for the Nats, although the two-outta-three from the Yankees has given the team -- especially Manny Acta -- a funny kind of swagger.
The Sox are loaded. Pretty much every single Sox batter would be good enough to hit in the middle of the order for the Nats. Their rotation is deep and competent. And the five guys in the pen who've pitched the most games all have ERAs well under 3; the Nats have just one (plus Mike MacDougal).
Although with the games being in an NL park, the Nats might have an advantage because the Sox will lose David Ortiz's big bat.
Wait, nevermind! That guy hits like Kearns!
Nationals pitchers have been on a roll lately. They shut down a pretty decent Yankees offense (even with the ailing A-Rod), but this is going to be a bigger challenge. Last time these two teams played, the Sox pounded the snot out of the Nats starters.
We -- and tens of thousands of pink hats -- will see if Lannan, Stammen, and Zimmermann are up to the challenge.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He has way too many bad ALCS memories.