Another Monday, another edition of Clubhouse Cliff Notes.
As you might’ve noticed, there were a lot more wins than losses for the Nationals this week, so most of the chatter in the clubhouse was of an upbeat nature.
Here you’ll find some of the more interesting, humorous or insightful things said this week. As always, I’ve tried to keep this entry fresh by going with quotes that I didn’t use in previous entries.
And away we go:
April 18 pregame
Context: On his most recent plate appearance prior to striking out during the Nats’ win over the Astros last Monday
Quote: “I actually got an at-bat last year in Harrisburg. Tony Beasley made a managerial kind of miscue. I was closing at the time, and he told the umpire before he made the pitching change, he made the change with the position player. So he made a double-switch, but I still had to hit. So I come in to get an out in the eighth, and I come in and he tells me, ‘Hey, you’re hitting.’ I’m like, ‘Wait, didn’t you double-switch?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I messed it up.’ I’m like, ‘All right.’
“So I’m leading off the inning, and get a leadoff walk. (Steve) Lombardozzi bunted me over and then somebody drove me in. So I walked last year, but before that, I think (my last at-bat) might’ve been 2008. I led the world in hitting in 2008. I was 1-for-1, hit 1.000.”
April 21 postgame
Context: On his strong start to the season
Quote: “What a difference a year makes. Last year, this time of the year, it was a huge struggle. I had eight errors. I was hitting about .200. We weren’t really winning. This year, it’s a new year. It’s a fresh start, which is nice. Obviously, this is best start I’ve had in the big leagues. I’m feeling good about it. I really love having the support of the manager.”
April 18 pregame
Context: On if he’s ever seen a pitcher as carefree on the day he pitches as Gio Gonzalez
Quote: “No, no I have not. It doesn’t fit into what I remember about it, I know that. My wife wouldn’t even talk to me on the day I pitched. She probably wished I pitched more often because she doesn’t want to talk to me anyways. But no, that’s just him. Some people don’t like to talk, some people got to talk to everybody. I think he talked to everybody in the ballpark the other day. The usher’s walking by (and he says), ‘Hi, how you doin’?’ Everybody’s talking to him. But that’s just his personality. And if it works for him, just keep doing it.
“That’s just his nature. That’s just the way he is. He has so much energy. He’s a lot of fun. He’s really enjoyable. But that’s the way some people cope with the pressure of it. Because when you start, you sit there for four days waiting for that to build up. And that’s really tough. A lot of people don’t realize the stress it puts on you. And his way of releasing it is to laugh and goof around.”
April 18 postgame
Context: On the Nats not getting too caught up in their hot start
Quote: “For how young we are, a lot of us are lucky enough and fortunate enough to have been in the big leagues for a long time. If you weren’t with an organization like this was the last four or five years, you might not have had the chance to get the experience that we’ve had. So I think we’re well above our years as far as maturity and knowing the game. I think that helps out. But we have some guys that just in case will make sure that doesn’t get carried away.”