In case you didn’t happen to see it, reliever Miguel Batista called his squad “the best team in baseball” after last night’s game.
Yes, the same Miguel Batista who allowed two huge runs over two-thirds of an inning in yesterday’s 4-3 Nationals win. Yes, the same Miguel Batista who suits up for the New York Mets, who are currently a game above .500 and eight games back of the Nationals in the National League East.
“Right now they’re playing good baseball, but I don’t believe they’re a better team than us,” Batista said of the Nats. “They’re playing great baseball. But better team? I believe we’re the better team. We just have to play as we’re supposed to.
“We just have to believe how good we are and just go out there and perform. I believe we are the best team in baseball. We just have to play like one. That’s what we’re not doing.”
Can’t fault the man for having faith in the guys in his clubhouse. You might be able to fault him for some other stuff, though.
The Nationals will go for the three-game sweep over the Mets this afternoon, and we’ll get to see two All-Stars duke it out on the mound in what could be another excellent pitching matchup.
Ross Detwiler, Jon Niese, Jordan Zimmermann and Chris Young - the four starters over the last two days - combined to allow just three earned runs over their 26 innings of work. Gio Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey will try and match that effectiveness today.
Wonder who the happiest guy at Nationals Park will be this afternoon?
Leon, a 23-year-old from Venezuela, made his major league debut May 14. It was about the worst possible big league debut you could imagine.
He got one plate appearance, striking out looking against Padres starter Tim Stauffer. Then, in the top of the fourth, Leon was barreled into by Chase Headley on a play at the plate. The catcher suffered a high ankle sprain, landing him on the DL just a little over an hour into his major league career.
Leon rehabbed the ankle, returned to Double-A Harrisburg and now will find himself back in a Nationals jersey again.
Let’s all cross our fingers that the kid has a better go of it the second time around.