The first fans got in line for Jayson Werth garden gnome giveaway night at about 2:10 p.m., five hours before first pitch and more than two hours before the gates to the ballpark actually opened. That would turn out not to be excessive: gnome night ended up being so popular, some 15,000 Nats fans didn't make it to the game in time to get one.
The listed attendance was 40,686, not bad for a Tuesday night against the Mets. (For comparison, Sunday afternoon against the Phillies drew about 30,000.) And, many, many of those fans got there early—to the point where the crowds actually snarled mass transit for much of the city.
It was a rough evening for many. The Nationals said the gnomes were gone by 6:15, meaning if you didn't arrive an hour before the game, you were shit out of luck. Almost as an afterthought, the Nats lost 6-1 to the Mets.
"Unfortunately we weren't able to get a win for them," Jayson Werth said. "A night like tonight, when it's your giveaway, you've got a bobblehead or a gnome or whatever, you'd like to perform a little better than I did. So I feel bad about that, and obviously the loss hurts a little."
Perhaps soothing the pain? The current going price for Werth gnomes on eBay. And suddenly, I'm not so sure all those fans actually wanted the gnomes for themselves.