After the Washington Nationals' 11-4 win over the New York Mets last night in the first game of the Nationals' ten-game homestand, Nats' skipper Dusty Baker talked to reporters about getting off to a good start at home after a rough trip to San Diego, LA and Milwaukee.
"That was a tough, long road trip," Baker said, and he was happy to be back in his adopted home.
"Home is home," he said. "You've got your home fans, you've got the last at bat, you've got a whole lot going for you at home.
"We've played, I think, more games on the road than any team in baseball, and this is our first ten-day homestand, so what you want to do, you really want to establish home field superiority. Superiority at home.
"You want to feel that when you come home that you can win, because most teams do win at home, but we want to win at home, especially in this last stretch before we get to the All-Star Break."
Last night's win left the Nationals 21-12 in the nation's capital this season. Their 3-7 road trip left them 24-20 away from the nation's capital.
Baker was asked before the series opener with the Mets if he had any concerns about the less-than-stellar trip to California and Wisconsin.
"It didn't give me any concerns," he said, "it was kind of like a recurring nightmare is what it was. You're losing all these games at the same -- a different way, but at the same part of the game basically in the eighth and ninth.
"Whether it was a home run or whether it was a play or we didn't get a hit or whatever. Easily we could have won 4-5 more games and had a 7-3 road trip."
"When things go badly, it's a little tougher to stop than you think because things -- it can grow on its own. It feels like a tumor growing that you can't stop. We lost games in all kinds of ways but that's in the past now."
After last night's win, the Nationals have won two straight. Can they make it three in a row tonight?
Here's the Nats' lineup for the second game of three with the Mets in D.C. and Lucas Giolito's MLB debut: