The Washington Times - October 1, 2012, 06:35PM

For the 10th consecutive day, Kurt Suzuki came to work knowing it would be a long day. They’re all long when you’re catching at least nine innings a night. But as the Nationals have continued their drive to clinch the National League East, a feat they can accomplish with one more win, Suzuki has played more games straight than most catchers do.

It’s not an issue.

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“He would be choking me if I wasn’t playing him,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. “I checked with him. He’s feeling great. He doesn’t want out of there. He doesn’t look tired to me, either.”

Suzuki has never caught on 10 consecutive days, but he said he has caught 10 straight games with team off days built in.

That said, the catcher did not hesitate when asked how he was feeling.

“I’m fine,” Suzuki said. “When you get out there it all seems to go away once that adrenaline gets going.”

Like all but a handful of his Nationals teammates, this is Suzuki’s first time in a playoff race and a pennant drive so there’s no question he wants to be the man on the field catching in the ninth inning of a potential clinching game. Johnson has been asking how he’s feeling, but Suzuki told bench coach Randy Knorr this past weekend: “You don’t even have to ask. I’m good.”

“This is my first time in a playoff race so, I’m eager,” Suzuki said. “I want to be in there. You play through some things during the season, but when it comes down to this time of year, you play through anything.”

Chances are, should the Nationals wrap up the NL East title Monday night, Suzuki will get at least a few days off before the playoffs begin this coming weekend.