'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
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Sunday afternoon, Espinosa was 0-for-4. It was his sixth hitless game in the last seven, a stretch that has now featured only one hit in his last 28 at-bats with 13 strikeouts and no walks.
The Nationals' slow offensive start has been concerning to some, worrisome to others and downright nerve-fraying to certain factions of the fanbase. For plenty, it's been maddening to watch them strike out, swinging or looking, so often. To see them come up small in large situations. To hit the ball on the screws, and right at a waiting fielder.
Tyler Moore hit a three-run homer and Danny Espinosa homered and drove in three runs, leading the Washington Nationals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Sunday.
The impetus behind a lineup switch, manager Davey Johnson said, came back to the idea that the Nationals are still searching for a lineup that works and has someone who can get on base in front of Bryce Harper in the No. 3 spot. Steve Lombardozzi may be the guy who can do that
"I met a guy today who had been through 49 surgeries," said Chad Tracy. "I've been through four of five myself, just to imagine a guy going through almost 50 surgeries, to see he was still a driven, confident, leader of a man really touched me."
Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa has a very vivid memory from his major-league debut. It was Sept. 1, 2010 and the Nats were playing in Florida against the Marlins. Espinosa drove in a run with a double. That isn't the memory.
Over the course of the three-game sweep, the Nationals were outscored 18-5. In the series' final 26 innings, they mustered a single, solitary run.
At least Washington came out of Friday's disappointment in good physical health. Not so Saturday, as catcher Wilson Ramos injured his left hamstring trying to beat out a ground ball in the eighth.
When it comes to early series, during that period in the baseball season when it's far too soon to read much into results though still fun to try, the Washington Nationals' clash with the Cincinnati Reds was billed as one of the best. What came out in the Nationals' 6-3 loss, though, was one of the worst starts of Stephen Strasburg's career.
On a team with a lineup that requires few pinch hitters and even fewer defensive replacements, the Nationals' bench players, Chad Tracy, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore and Roger Bernadina, are faced with a difficult transition.
They came in with a fairly firm idea of who would occupy each of the 25 spots on their Opening Day roster, provided they stayed healthy. And over the course of seven weeks, a long spring even by long spring standards, they largely managed to do that.
The sun beat down on the field at Space Coast Stadium one day this spring as Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson approached his second baseman. Danny Espinosa was busy doing infield work during batting practice, fielding ground balls and practicing his footwork.
As the rain pounded on the field at Space Coast Stadium Sunday afternoon, Rendon looked around the dugout. His eyes followed Davey Johnson as the Nationals' 70-year-old manager told starter after starter their day was done, shortened by the delay. Rendon quietly hoped he wouldn't get to him.
You hear the word "tear" in relation to a muscle and your first thought is "uh-oh." Espinosa has a torn rotator cuff in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Uh-oh.
The decision, which Espinosa revealed on Monday, was a difficult one for the 25-year-old who had looked forward to getting a chance to play for the Mexican team in the tournament. But after an offseason spent strengthening his shoulder muscles to compensate for a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, Espinosa didn't want to derail any of that progress.
"I've made some adjustments in the last few days to help me get the bat to the ball quicker," said Espinosa, who is hitting just .
Espinosa, who rehabbed a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder in the offseason and has played with a sore right wrist for two weeks, said he has no physical issues that are hindering him.