If you decided to turn off last night’s Nationals game when they went down 10-3 after just three innings, I wouldn’t blame you in the slightest. However, it turned out to be one of the craziest games the Nationals have ever played, featuring multiple plunkings by the Marlins’ pitching staff, a bench-clearing brawl, and six ejections drawn out over 9 innings. By the end of the seventh inning last night, both managers were sent to the showers, along with four of their players. It was the sort of game that had a performance art feel to it, as if you were just waiting to see what might happen next.
Injuries in Major League Baseball are inevitable. This year – the Nationals are trying to limit the amount of times their players take a trip to the disabled list. How? By going over base sliding fundamentals.
Getting a little older and a little wiser? A headfirst slide is the sole reason Morgan was left sidelined after fracturing his left hand while sliding into third base last August in Chicago – less than two months after being traded from Pittsburgh to Washington.
Sure, Nyjer – it does look like you’re working harder if you slide head-first into the bases (the Nationals outfielder says he likes to get dirty while playing ball because it looks like “you’ve been playing harder”, no pun intended … please feel free to let your mind wander into gutter territory with that one), but the injuries aren’t worth it if you want to play for a team who has a winning record at the end of the 2010 season.
Riggleman’s also got the entire roster working on the feet-first approach to sliding in order to cut down on hand/finger/wrist related injuries. Good thinking.
ALSO – THIS JUST IN – there’s a new guy in town by the name of Adam Kilgore. He’ll be the voice of WaPo’s Nationals Journal/the new Nationals beat writer this season. Welcome to town, Adam!