- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Nats hope home cooking does the trick
Washington was 50-31 at home
Question of the Day
For weeks, the Washington Nationals have dealt with the questions. How would the playoffs be different? How would their young team handle the increased pressure and the larger stage? Would they be able to remain the same 98-win team?
But as they swarmed the field at Nationals Park early Tuesday afternoon, laughing and relaxed during a workout before Wednesday’s National League Division Series Game 3, they knew they had reduced all of that hype to something very familiar: a three-game series.
And they have won plenty of those before.
“We start a race to two here,” first baseman Adam LaRoche said. “It’s nice to be able to do that at home, for sure. We know what it’s going to take.
“We’re going to try and keep it to one game at a time, try not to look too far ahead, but we’ve got a big one [Wednesday]. If you don’t get it done, you’re in a bad spot. We know how important that is.”
“They don’t call it home-field advantage for nothing,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “We feel very comfortable playing at home. We’ve been a good home team and we’ve put ourselves in a good position to come home and just win a series. If we can do that, like we’ve done a lot of times this year, we’ll be sitting pretty.”
The Nationals spoke Tuesday of feeling confident with Edwin Jackson set to take the mound for them. Jackson, after all, is the most veteran member of their rotation and the only starter with postseason experience. He was 10-11 this season with a 4.03 ERA.
“It’s just a matter of everybody going out and relaxing and doing their part,” Jackson said. “No one has to be a hero. You just have to go out and play the game the right way and play baseball like we know how to play.
“At the end of the day, once you touch the field, you have to be the best pitcher that day. Whether it’s your ace or whether it’s your No. 4 starter, once you hit the field, everyone is trying to be a No. 1 starter.”
But there were discouraging stats, too. The Nationals were just 12-19 in Jackson’s starts this season, and the 11 times he took the mound on the day after a Nationals’ loss, they were just 2-9. They need Wednesday to be more like the two games he won, and less like the nine losses.
“He’s such a consistent workhorse that there’s going to be days like that,” catcher Kurt Suzuki said. “But he’s going to give you 110 percent no matter what. … He knows what he has to do, and I’ve got 100 percent confidence that he’ll be ready.”
The way they bounded around the field Tuesday, taking in the crisp but slightly warmer D.C. air and envisioning a stadium filled with red-towel-waving fans, the Nationals seemed to be, too.
“Just a great attitude at the workout today,” manager Davey Johnson said. “Everybody’s nice and relaxed and enjoying being home. We don’t have to prove anything. We proved we’re a damn good ballclub. Came out of the season with the best record in baseball, won our division. We played well on the road, and we played exceptionally well here at home. I like where we’re at, and I like the attitude of the ballclub right now.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow