Taking a bite out of the Big Apple

Bob-Carpenter_BlogShot.jpg

Cold weather for three games, rain on Wednesday, a late-inning disaster the night before, playing the team with the best home record in the major leagues - there were lots of factors working against the Nationals in New York this week, and our ballclub overcame most of them to win another series.

As I look out the window of our charter flight to Colorado, more flashes of lightning and rolls of thunder are out there as we cross the Midwest. The mood is good; guys are in the back playing cards; music can be heard (country and salsa, what a mix!) and I realize that there's nothing better than winning on "getaway day."

Everything seems to go smoother, from the pack-up after the game to the bus trip to the flight, then another bus at our destination for the 35-minute drive to downtown Denver.

Being on the road is tough; the fans are against you, especially in New York, and the other team gets to bat last. There are two more stops on this nine-day journey and good ballclubs await.

But, we are finding out, again, that our Nats can play with any team in this league, and soon we'll get a look at the AL in interleague play on the next homestand.

Wednesday's 6-4 "rubber game" win at Citi Field was a true test of character after Tuesday night's late meltdown under tough conditions. Roger Bernadina had the game of his young career and this time the bullpen came through beautifully. And, wow, how good is Matt Capps right now? Fourteen straight saves!

Keep it close, boys, and we'll win - you just feel it.

The Nationals are now 7-1 this season in rubber games, so there have been some pleasant trips, and this evening may be among the best in recent memory. Difficult ballparks and teams await: the Rockies at mile-high Coors Field, where the ball flies and pitchers pitch defensively; then, it's on to St. Louis, where the fans cheer every move their Cardinals make and their pitching is among the best in baseball.

With a record of 4-2 against the Mets and four games above .500 now, there's no ceiling on this team's confidence. This trip may reveal to us a lot about how the rest of the season is going to transpire, and I can't wait to find out.

Time to put up the tray table and get ready for the Rockies. Let's chat next week, shall we?