CHICAGO - Today's "Coolest Quote of the Day" goes to Stephen Strasburg, who was asked what was going through his mind in the final innings of today's game, when the Nationals were mounting their rally against the Cubs and then subsequently took the lead.
"Watching from the dugout, you almost feel like you're in the box there with them," Strasburg said. "That says a lot about the chemistry we have on this team that everybody in there was pulling for the next guy to get the job done. I think that's going to help us out a lot this year."
Strasburg postponed his normal post-start routine of warming down and icing his arm so that he could watch the final two innings of today's ballgame with his teammates.
I'm guessing he liked what he saw.
Ian Desmond had a monster game today, recording three of the Nats' four hits, scoring a run, stealing a base and driving in the game-winning tally in the ninth inning with a two-out base hit to right.
Jayson Werth said that when thinking back to last year, he focuses on the final month of the season. In that period of time, Werth says, he learned what the Nationals shortstop can provide.
"Desi played great in that last month, and that's the type of player he is," Werth said. "He brings a lot to this club, and with him leading off and swinging the bat the way he is and the way he runs the bases and his overall attitude towards the game, he really sets the tone for the club. Today he had a great game and factored into the win for sure. We're going to need him if we're going to have a successful year."
Meanwhile, Werth's bases-loaded walk against Kerry Wood was huge because it tied the game, but it was also huge considering Werth's history against the Cubs reliever.
Werth was 0-for-7 with four strikeouts against Wood entering today.
"I think the hardest-hit ball that I've hit off him was a bunt that I lined to Derrek Lee a few years ago," Werth laughed. "An unsuccessful bunt attempt."
Ryan Zimmerman crushed two pitches today that could have easily been home runs on a day when he wasn't hitting directly into a 17 mph wind. The second deep fly ball Zimmerman hit was absolutely demolished, but was knocked down by the breeze and died on the fringe of the warning track.
As Zimmerman passed by reporters after the game, he joked he was going to the weight room so he could learn how to hit home runs.