'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
As the Nationals get set to open a five-game homestand against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles, they've played just under 30 percent of their highly anticipated 2013 season. And they're a team that is one game better than .500.
It was a nightmarish 10 day stretch for Harper, starting with the moment he landed on the warning track at Dodger Stadium, writhing in pain. But Wednesday he rose above. Again.
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.
Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus has broken his pitching hand punching a locker in frustration following a rocky outing.
The not-so-subtle implication racing through the Internet of a concussion conspiracy by the Nationals makes as much sense as, well, running into walls. What could they possibly gain by pretending Harper didn't have a concussion or engaging in a game of semantics to avoid using the word?
Sunday was the latest example of how the Nationals' bullpen may be a bit off-kilter as they pass the quarter mark of the 2013 season. The personnel is exactly the same as it was when the Nationals opened the season, but the way they've been used hasn't always been consistent — and neither has the performance.
Forty-four games into the 2013 campaign, the Nationals have never overcome more than a two-run deficit. As the Padres' assault continued to mount on Sunday, the Nationals needed plenty more than two.
Harper's second unsuccessful encounter this month with the physics of smacking into an outfield wall led to him doubling down on the hair-on-fire approach. He told reporters "I'm trying to kill myself out there" and, really, that's what the collision looked like.
The untuck thing is a celebration that is a lot like Soriano. It's understated, easy to miss. It's also effective. And cool. Most important, for all its simplicity, it's fun. Sports are supposed to be fun, remember?
As blood dripped down his neck and head trainer Lee Kuntz examined him Monday night, Harper tried to convince manager Davey Johnson that he could stay in the game. That wasn't happening.
Bryce Harper arrived at Dodger Stadium a little bit smarter Tuesday.
The moment Gio Gonzalez walked off the mound in the seventh inning Sunday afternoon, he figured his day was probably done. So it was that Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson pulled his left-hander in the hope of adding some offense, and watched the game devolve into a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs over the final two innings.
The Nationals' victory over the Tigers on Thursday was their sixth in the past seven games as they improved to 19-15.
With Jayson Werth dealing with right hamstring tightness for the last week, Harper has shifted from left to right field twice, and was in the lineup there on Wednesday night.
The good news for the Washington Nationals as they trickled into the clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon, was that Jayson Werth was able to test his right hamstring on Monday and felt strong.
"To come and manage in New York, I tell you, it was a challenge and it was some of the greatest years of my life," he said.
"It was a great thrill and honor to come to New York and manage in front of the most intelligent fans in all the world," he said with a smirk. "All I had to do was listen to the radio and I knew exactly what to do."