Busy day today at Citizens Bank Park. A couple more little things before the game:
--Justin Maxwell is back with the Nationals, concluding a whirlwind week for the outfielder. His second child, Liana Joy, was born on Monday morning, so Maxwell drove his 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix from Syracuse to Frederick, Md., to be with his wife Loren. The couple's baby was born Monday morning, and Maxwell went back to the Chiefs. He got the call on Wednesday before batting practice that he was headed to the majors, and he'll head from Philadelphia to Washington with the team after today's game. Maxwell might have been called up instead of Roger Bernadina, general manager Mike Rizzo said, but his wife's pregnancy played into the the decision. The Nationals mostly need Maxwell for all the left-handed pitchers they're about to face, but if he plays well, he could have a chance to stick at least until Mike Morse returns from the disabled list. "Any time you have a child is a good time," Maxwell said. "To get, I guess, a promotion in your job, too, is also a pretty good blessing. It's just nice that I'm able to play so close to home."
--Ryan Zimmerman is out again today, and hopes to return from his hamstring injury by the weekend. He said he feels fine, but needs to be cleared running the bases before he can return. Caution is still the underlying principle there. "The next step is just testing and running," Zimmerman said. "And after that, I'll be able to play in a big-league ballgame again. It's pretty exciting." I promised Zimmerman I'd get the second part of that quote in print, just for all of its cheesy goodness.
--There's some debate on Maxwell's choice of automobiles -- shortstop Ian Desmond swears Maxwell used to drive a purple car. Maxwell contends it was "midnight blue" -- kind of like how the Los Angeles Lakers maintain their colors are gold and "Forum blue," not purple. For the record, Desmond said he drives a white pickup truck. And if you're looking for an auto tip: He says gold cars are the best color to get. Desmond's stepfather works with cars, and he's learned from him that gold cars maintain their color better than others, keep out heat during hot days and are easier to keep clean. You can thank him later.
Time for the live thread. More later.