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.
Bernadina spoke glowingly of his time in the WBC. The best moment of the entire tournament for him was when the Dutch team beat Cuba to advance to the final round, even though he didn't play in that game.
Jones got two hits and Bernadina drove in two runs to help the Netherlands upset South Korea 5-0 in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday.
The Washington Nationals won Tuesday night. They beat the New York Mets 5-3 to win their 88th game of the season.
The sight was one no member of the Washington Nationals wanted to witness. After so many injuries had been put behind them, after they’d cobbled things together and persevered – even thrived – without so many of their key components, their lineup was finally all healthy.
When the Washington Nationals arrive at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, Bryce Harper will prepare to play his 102nd game in the majors. It will be his 102nd game in the past 118 days, a grueling stretch that bests any the 19-year-old phenom has experienced — and that doesn't include the 21 he played in Triple-A in April.
The chants were so loud Roger Bernadina could hear them reverberating as he walked through the tunnel toward the visitors' clubhouse at Minute Maid Park Tuesday night. Reveling in another victory, the Washington Nationals turned the music up and awaited their hero of the night.
As the ball barreled toward one of the many left center field crevices at Minute Maid Park, it carried with it the weight of an entire game. Four hours of baseball. Three hundred and 63 pitches. Twelve innings. The best record in the major leagues, a 3-2 victory, a 2-0 start to the Washington Nationals' longest road trip of the second half.
The Washington Nationals stepped inside Minute Maid Park on Monday evening and, in a lot of ways, stared directly at their own past. Swaths of seats went unoccupied as the smallest announced crowd in the park's 12-plus year history came through the gates. The piercing sound of a baby's cry sliced through the dull murmur that hung over a game with pennant-race implications.