The sixth inning of Saturday night's 5-2 Nationals victory over the Marlins may well have been one of the best defensive innings Washington has played all season, though, it should be known that I'm basing my qualifications for that designation solely on the fact that, in a one-run game, there were not one but two spectacular plays made in the span of four batters.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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Roger Bernadina is a member of the Nationals major league team for at least another 11 games -- and he's going to get every opportunity to play in as many of those 11 games as possible.
The Nationals officially added Roger Bernadina to the 25-man roster this afternoon, calling him back up from Triple-A Syracuse to take the place of injured center fielder Rick Ankiel, who went on the disabled list Friday night with a right wrist sprain, retroactive to May 3. Bernadina was in the lineup in center field and leading off.
Adam LaRoche asked hitting coach Rick Eckstein to check the video for a hole in his bat after his first three at-bats Friday night. He came through to make contact and drive in the game-winning run in the 10th inning. He and the rest of the Nationals will be looking to build on that tonight against Marlins' right-hander Chris Volstad. Here's how they've done against him in the past.
I wrote much of my game story from the Nationals 3-2 extra-innings victory about Tyler Clippard and Jordan Zimmermann and the ridiculous control both showed last night as the Nationals struck out 13 Marlins, 12 by those two pitchers alone. But I wanted to go back and take another look at the importance of what Drew Storen and Sean Burnet -- and to some extent the rest of the bullpen -- did to help the Nationals win that game as well.
Nationals center fielder Rick Ankiel had an MRI on his ailing right wrist Friday afternoon that came back negative but, ultimately, after four straight days of rest he still didn't feel strong enough to take batting practice and the Nationals were forced to put him on the disabled list Friday night, retroactive to May 3.
Rick Ankiel and Michael Morse were both out of the Nationals' lineup again on Friday night but both were also sent to see the doctor here in Florida before coming to Sun Life Stadium.
The Nationals have played exactly 31 games of the 2011 season. To say that they have not yet seen the offensive production they were expecting through those first 31 games would be an understatement. As the Nationals continue to attempt to find a way out of the funk that has plagued almost every member of the lineup, the focus has been on staying positive, keeping their approach consistent and not letting the weight of prolonged hitless streaks affect them mentally. For hitting coach Rick Eckstein, it's been a challenging time. But staying positive is the only mentality he knows.
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman confirmed some good news this morning in an interview with MLBNetwork Radio that he will be one of Bruce Bochy's coaches at the 2011 All-Star game in Phoeniz, Ariz., on July 12.
The Florida Marlins await the Nationals after a three-game sweep by the Phillies and while they don't dominate the Nationals in the same overwhelming way the Phillies have the past few years, the Marlins pitching doesn't offer much in the way of an easy game. First up for the Marlins is right-hander Ricky Nolasco, a pitcher the Nationals missed on their first trip to Florida this season. Nolasco, like several of the Marlins' starters, is having a strong start to the season at 3-0 with a 3.35 ERA.
Jerry Hairston Jr. has been a major league player for the last 14 years. In that time, he's faced 826 different pitchers. That volume of opponents doesn't matter. Easily and without hesitation, Hairston said Thursday that Roy Halladay is the best he's ever seen.
Rick Ankiel was held out of the Nationals lineup for the third straight day as he continues to nurse a sore right hand after hurting it making two diving plays in the outfield on Monday night.
With several players banged up, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman had his work cut out for him in making out the lineup.
Tonight in Philadelphia, the Nationals are once again faced with the task of avoiding a sweep. All they have to do is beat Roy Halladay. Sounds simple enough, right?
As Matt Stairs' pinch-hit single in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday night landed softly in shallow right field, it carried with it a little extra weight. The hit, which not only snapped an 0-for-13 start to the season for the veteran pinch-hitting specialist, was the 100th pinch-hit of Stairs' career, tying him with Rusty Staub for 18th on the all-time list and giving the long-tenured hitter another piece of memorabilia to take home and decorate his bar with.