If you wanted a list of all the players the Washington Nationals left on base Thursday night, you'd have been better off simply writing out the lineup. Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Jesus Flores all knew what it was like to be stranded.
As a 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook the Virginia, Maryland, D.C. area — and much of the rest of the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon, Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner watched as the center field scoreboard in his team's park swayed back and forth.
Ryan Zimmerman has now done it eight times, and it never gets old.
Neither of them want to talk about it. They don't want to speculate, there is no friendly wager and they're not checking in nightly to see how the other is doing, but Freddie Freeman and Danny Espinosa know they're in competition.
Yunesky Maya arrived in the Washington Nationals' clubhouse five minutes before 6 p.m. and took the locker next to Ian Desmond. Danny Espinosa and Desmond lent Maya hangers for his jersey. When the clubhouse was closed to reporters at 6 p.m., the deal to send Saturday's scheduled starter, Jason Marquis, to Arizona in exchange for a minor league shortstop still had not been confirmed.
Chad Billingsley was falling apart. Ripe for the taking. One fat pitch away from allowing the Washington Nationals to blow open the series' rubber match and all with no outs in the first inning Sunday at Dod-ger Stadium.
When the Washington Nationals traded Nyjer Morgan this spring, they did so knowing they'd be ridding themselves of a player who didn't seem to fit well with this year's team at the expense of losing a leadoff-hitting center fielder.
Fans who began following the Nationals last year, when Stephen Strasburg swept through baseball like Halley's Comet, have a rosier outlook than fans who began following in 2005 when the team relocated to Washington, where it has never produced a winning record but twice managed 100-loss seasons.
The Washington Nationals are .500 as the second half begins for the first time since 2005, their first year in D.C. After a first half that featured gut-wrenching losses, an eight-game win streak, the sudden resignation of a manager and 36 one-run games, they open the second half Friday with a chance to finish with their best record in the nation's capital.