The Washington Times - August 7, 2012, 07:54PM

HOUSTON — Cesar Izturis arrived in Houston on Tuesday, joining a Nationals team he’d watched barrel through Milwaukee two weekends ago and going from a team 10 games under .500 to one 23 games up and in first place in the National League East.

“I’m excited to come over here and enjoy a good group of people, good talent and a first place team,” Izturis said Tuesday in between getting fitted for all of his new Nationals gear and greeting his new teammates. 

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Izturis, a 12-year major league veteran, has played with a handful of Nationals along the way including Mark DeRosa, Michael Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson and Jayson Werth. The familiar faces made things a little easier Izturis said, adding “I feel at home.”

The 32-year-old has played for seven other organizations and is no stranger to being traded, but he was still surprised on Monday when he got word that the Nationals had acquired him on a waiver claim.

That surprise, however, gave way to happiness as Izturis, who played in the playoffs with the Dodgers in 2004, has not played in the postseason since and knows the Nationals are position to possibly get there this year.

“It’s great,” he said. “It’s great because, bottom line, (winning) is what you prepare for. Being in first place and making it to the playoffs. To be here, I’m excited.”

Izturis will serve as the Nationals’ primary backup middle infielder with Mark DeRosa on the disabled list. He can play short and second and has a Gold Glove to his name from 2004.

“(I’ll do) anything they want me to do,” Izturis said. “I’m available to do it and I’ll be ready every game, no matter what inning in the game.”

Izturis said he came away impressed with the Nationals after they took three of four from the Brewers in Milwaukee at the end of July.

“They’re in first place,” he said. “There’s a reason. Good guys. Good young talent. I think they want to win and that’s the bottom line. Win games, that’s what you’re here for.”