"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."
Harper homered in his first two at-bats to account for the only scoring and Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings as the defending NL East champs opened their 2013 campaign.
Not much has changed for Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond when it comes to a possible contract extension. The team is still open to discussing one with Desmond, and Desmond is still open to considering it.
Talented but inconsistent Henry Rodriguez will be in the bullpen to open the season for the Washington Nationals. He can be maddening but it is still too early to give up on him.
White cinder block walls lead the way. Past the security guard in need of a cup of coffee just after 8 a.m. on a cool March morning. Through the makeshift clubhouse kitchen at Space Coast Stadium where three plug-in griddles serve up pancakes and eggs with toppings stored in plastic containers.
It didn't take Mattheus long to look around the Nationals' clubhouse this spring and realize that, of the relievers on the team's 40-man roster, there is precisely one who throws with his left hand: Zach Duke.
They'll report to Viera, Fla., in two more weeks and begin the process of finding their place on the 2013 incarnation of the Nationals, one in which they'll try to find space for three closers.
Until last week, the Washington Nationals were set to decamp next month to the master-planned communities and chain restaurants of Viera, Fla., for spring training with a startling absence of dramatics. Enter Rafael Soriano.
If there was one takeaway from Soriano's introduction, officially installing him in a bullpen that already contained two right-handers with significant closing experience in Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, it was that closing games was precisely what he was brought here to do.