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The Nationals lost in the first round of the playoffs again this year, but fans scored a moral victory in the decisive game 5. When the stadium announced that their last chance to take Metro home would soon pass, fans booed like they’d just seen Bryce Harper called out on a pitch in the dirt. Hardly anyone left early.
Metro has since proposed four possible schedules for late-night service cuts. Its recommended scheme (shown below in blue) would close the system at 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and 11 p.m. on Sundays. How worried should Nats fans be that these earlier closures will test their insecurities about D.C.’s status as a “real” baseball city? Not very, according to the data. Only a few games would’ve been affected this year under any of the proposals. Then again, it only took one scolding of early-departing Nats fans this summer (courtesy of Cubs broadcasters) to send the fan base into a fit of defensiveness.
Each grid contains a square for each of the 81 home games the Nats played during the regular season this year. Clouds indicate games with rain delays. The numbers show how many minutes of game time fans would have to miss if they left the game 45 minutes before Metro’s closure—plenty of time to catch the last train out of Navy Yard.
M–Th: 11:30 p.m., Fri.: 1 a.m., Sat.: 1 a.m., Sun.: 11 p.m.
M–Th: 11:30 p.m., Fri.: midnight, Sat.: midnight, Sun.: 11:30 p.m.
M–Th: midnight, Fri.: midnight, Sat.: midnight, Sun.: 10 p.m.
M–Th: midnight, Fri.: 3 a.m., Sat.: 3 a.m., Sun.: 11 p.m.
Graphics by Zach Rausnitz and Jandos Rothstein