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Latest Brian Bixler Items
The symbolism dripped thick with irony: the Washington Nationals had two men on for what seemed like the umpteenth time in the last four games, their cleanup hitter at the plate in a duel with the opposing team's starting pitcher. And then, the lights went out.
Among a flurry of roster moves made by the Washington Nationals as the trade deadline approaches, the team recalled utility player Brian Bixler from Syracuse after trading Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor leaguer Erik Komatsu.
Down in the batting cage in the bowels of Nationals Park, Ivan Rodriguez had just begun to settle in Saturday night. He'd taken exactly five swings during the bottom of the eighth inning when he popped his head back into the dugout and manager Davey Johnson told him that his practice session was over.
John McLaren, red-faced and irate, pointing violently at umpire Mike Estabrook after an eighth-inning out call at first base was reversed, ensured that his first game as interim manager of the Washington Nationals would end abruptly. The way the previous 24 hours had gone for the Nationals, that seemed a fitting way for it to happen.
Outfielder Rick Ankiel was back with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, taking up residence as a healthy player on the roster for the first time since he sprained his right wrist making a diving play at Nationals Park on May 2.