Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Jeff Kobernus joined the Nationals from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday, in a much-anticipated move to add infield depth and a right-handed bat while Danny Espinosa recovers from the chipped bone in his right wrist.
In a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies the Nationals broke out with a four-run fifth. It was the first time since April 25 the Nationals have scored as many as four runs in an inning. With Jordan Zimmermann strong despite a stiff neck, it was plenty.
The Washington Nationals will effectively end a largely unsuccessful partnership with Cuban right-hander Yunesky Maya on Saturday when the team designates him for assignment and clears room on the 40-man roster for infielder Jeff Kobernus. Kobernus will be promoted to the major leagues for the first time to serve as infield depth for the Nationals.
With the discomfort in his right wrist persisting, Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa went for additional testing on Thursday and Friday. The tests revealed a broken bone in the wrist and fragments that had been chipped off that bone that Espinosa had been trying to play with since April.
Jordan Zimmermann carries a 7-2 record with a 1.62 ERA into his start against the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, and the Nationals, looking to get on a winning streak, are hoping for more of the same from their tough right-hander.
The Washington Nationals' 10-game tour of California is over. It wasn't the best of trips, at 4-6. It almost certainly could've been worse. But now they're back home to open a five-game homestand against the Phillies and the Orioles. But before they do so, here are a few thoughts, observations and leftovers on Danny Espinosa, Ryan Mattheus and the bullpen, Ross Detwiler, Jayson Werth, and the Phillies.
The Washington Nationals did not play on Thursday night, their offday giving them time to recuperate from a 10-day west coast trip, but their home, Nationals Park, was alive and thriving for third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's annual charity event to benefit the ziMS foundation.
In the eighth inning on Wednesday, Bryce Harper took a good route, didn't appear nervous as he neared the wall, and made an important catch. From the reaction of some of his teammates, Denard Span and Ian Desmond in particular, perhaps it was a breakthrough.
Before either of them had changed out of their street clothes Wednesday morning, Washington Nationals closer Rafael Soriano tapped outfielder Bryce Harper on the shoulder and asked him if they could talk. The two disappeared into a players-only area for several minutes and, when they emerged, both wanted to move past any controversy stirred by Soriano's comments late on Tuesday night.
After the Nationals' loss Tuesday, Bryce Harper took the blame. The thought of hitting the wall, eight days after his gruesome collision with one at Dodger Stadium, entered his mind. He felt he could've caught the ball, but he didn't. He admitted it was an issue he'll have to overcome. A few locker stalls down, though, apparently Rafael Soriano, who threw the slider that Blanco hit, was not pleased.
The moment the Washington Nationals 23rd loss of the season went from a tight, pulse-pounding victory to a gut-wrenching 4-2 loss came quickly. Pablo Sandoval's monstrous 10th-inning home run off Yunesky Maya brought with it the pain of an infuriatingly inconsistent season and a surprising .500 record after 46 games for the pre-season World Series favorites.
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson accepted an invitation from San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy to be a coach on his staff at the 2013 All-Star Game.
Fernando Abad was eating in a restaurant in Toledo, Ohio on Monday night when he got a call from Triple-A manager Tony Beasley. The first thing Beasley wanted to know was if Abad was with Maya. The left-hander told him he was not, so Beasley passed along a message.
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson was out on the field at AT&T Park early on Tuesday afternoon, watching several of his hitters take early batting practice and as left-hander Ross Detwiler did his first throwing since straining his right oblique.
As the Washington Nationals tried to reset, refocus and finish their 10-game west coast trip strong, their position players gathered Monday afternoon for their usual pre-series hitters' meeting. Shortstop Ian Desmond and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman reminded teammates to remember their own unique strengths. Perhaps the effect will be felt in the days and weeks to come. But Monday the Nationals were shut out for the sixth time this season as they fell 8-0 to the San Francisco Giants.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America