Rookie Hopes to End Road Woes...
Nats Rookie pitcher Jordan Zimmerman said he is looking forward to pitching in front of a packed Citi Field and under the spotlight in New York.
The stage doesn't get any bigger than this for the young righty who is trying to help the Nats end an eight-game road losing streak (16 dating back to last season - ugh). He told me he's never been under such a big spotlight but he's always been top of the tier.
When I asked him what's been the key to his fast track to the big leagues, he said it was because he pounds the zone and throws strikes.
"I'm a competitor," he added. "I love to win. That's the biggest thing."
He also said he'd like to play in front of a sellout crowd at home and that he'd love to pitch in front of thirty or forty thousand fans in DC.
Number 2 working for Nick...
Nick Johnson has thrived in the number two spot in the Nats lineup.
Manny Acta credits his hard work with hitting coach Rick Eckstein as being a big reason why he's doing so well. Manny added that it's impressive how Nick is not afraid to use the whole field. He said he's got a hitting plan and he sticks to it.
Rick Eckstein added that Nick is having quality at bats and that he uses the 80% rule. What this means is that you don't have to use 100% maximum effort to get a good swing. With a maximum effort you can get ahead of yourself.
Taste of New York...
Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner and some of his family and friends got a behind the scenes look at Citi Field on Saturday.
He told me he was impressed with the local flavor of the ballpark. Similar to Nationals Park, the Mets have made an effort to incorporate local restaurants and favorites into their ballpark experience.