ST. LOUIS — Nationals’ clubhouse manager Mike Wallace walked around the clubhouse Saturday afternoon like a personal shopper.
Try this winter hat, he said. And first baseman Adam LaRoche tossed it on his head.
How about this mock turtleneck? Each player determined what would be the right size or right style for them.
The Nationals, who spent the summer often playing in temperatures over 100 degrees and on a normal day at least over 90, will take the field in St. Louis Sunday afternoon with the high forecasted to be 55 degrees.
At 9:30 a.m. central time, it was 44 degrees.
Even Edwin Jackson, who won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011, couldn’t remember it being this chilly last year.
“No,” he said. “It’s a little cold out there but once you hit the field, man, warm up a little bit, start moving around, you’ll warm up real quick.”
That was a familiar refrain in the Nationals’ clubhouse on Saturday.
Whether it was guys who’d never played a playoff game in their lives or the few veterans who had, they all said once they hit the field, once the juices start flowing, cold will be a complete non factor. When it’s this cold, they said, you know you’re playing meaningful baseball. Their adrenaline will be enough.
Perhaps the guys who have it worst will be the ones on the bench and in the bullpens. They’ll be huddling around the space heaters and making sure they’re keeping warm just in case their number is called. That’s where Jackson will plant himself as he waits for his start in Game 3 on Wednesday in D.C.
“It’ll be a lot colder from the bench watching,” Jackson said.
So how do you get through it? “Coffee, gloves and hand warmers,” he said.
The forecast for this week in D.C. is a little more palatable with highs in the low 60s and low 70s.