CHICAGO - One final note from Wrigley before I head out and do some damage over at Geno's East, which I hear is a fantastic Chicago-style pizza place: Let's not overlook the work turned in by Chad Tracy today.
Tracy, who sat around in the Nationals' dugout for seven innings trying to stay warm, delivered a clutch two-out double in the eighth inning that eventually turned into the game-tying run when Ian Desmond singled in Brett Carroll, who pinch ran for Tracy.
Here's a guy that a year ago hit just .235 in Japan, and admitted recently that he wasn't sure if he'd ever play in the major leagues again smacking a ball off the ivy-covered wall in right field and trudging into second base in a key spot.
On opening day.
At Wrigley Field.
"It's great," Tracy said after the game. "I've been saying the last few days since I made the team that just the opportunity to be here is very special to me. To be able to come through for the team is even more special."
Tracy only made the Nats' opening day roster because of injuries to Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel, but he quietly put together a really nice spring, leading the Nationals in RBIs and going on a tear the last week of the Grapefruit League season.
Now he's back in the big leagues and setting up game-tying runs with extra-base hits. And Tracy's teammates are happy to see him find success at this level.
"There's not anybody in here I was pulling more for this spring than Chad Tracy," Desmond said. "He made every single bus trip. He played every game. He really grinded and he earned it. For him to get that hit there, it speaks volumes about his character.
"I keep on saying (GM Mike) Rizzo brings in character guys and quality players that want to win. And that's a perfect example right there."