WASHINGTON -- Wearing a red No. 3 Nationals jersey with his last name on the back, Rep. Steve Scalise walked onto the field on crutches and took his spot in front of the mound at Nationals Park.Less than four months ago, Scalise, the House majority whip, was critically injured in
WASHINGTON -- Wearing a red No. 3 Nationals jersey with his last name on the back, Rep. Steve Scalise walked onto the field on crutches and took his spot in front of the mound at Nationals Park.
Less than four months ago, Scalise, the House majority whip, was critically injured in a shooting that took place during the Republicans' last practice before the annual Congressional Baseball Game. On Friday night, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Cubs' 3-0 victory over the Nationals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.
Scalise threw the pitch to U.S. Capitol Police officer David Bailey, also sporting a custom-made Nats jersey, who was injured while charging the shooter at a Little League field in Alexandria, Va. Congressional staffers Zack Barth and Matt Mika, who were also wounded in the shooting, delivered the lineup cards.
Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C., lauded the Nationals' fans and called for both teams to "play ball!" just before Stephen Strasburg's first pitch to Benjamin Zobrist.
Friday night brought the typical array of pregame ceremonies, with a few unique touches in the nation's capital. The Cubs were introduced first, and the predominantly red-clad crowd drowned out the cheers from the Cubs' faithful dressed in blue.
Then came the Nationals' introductions, highlighted by raucous cheers for injured outfielder Adam Eaton, manager Dusty Baker, left fielder Jayson Werth and Strasburg.
Before the national anthem, which was performed by the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet, there was a moment of silence for the victims and families affected by the recent shooting in Las Vegas. Bryce Harper and Kristopher Bryant filmed a video that aired on the ballpark scoreboard, seeking help for their hometown.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.