Dusty Baker knew the stretch of 20 games in 20 days the Nationals are playing out now was going to be tough.
Washington suffered their third straight loss to the Baltimore Orioles last night, and the Nats’ skipper was asked after the game what it was that makes these stretches tough. Was it mental, or physical?
“Just everything,” Baker said. “The physical puts a wear and tear on your body and the mental puts a wear and tear on your mind, so if your body is weak and your mind is strong, that makes your body strong. And like I said, these guys showed a lot of mental strength tonight, because they could have just rolled over and just wrote the game off, but they didn’t.
“Like I said, we were one hit away from walking away with that game and that would have probably been one of the greatest comebacks of all time.”
The Nationals had a number of opportunities last night, but came up short.
Tonight they turn to Max Scherzer as they try to stop the losing streak and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Orioles.
Baker talked before last night’s game about having so-called “workhorses” like Scherzer, who goes for the Nats tonight, and Tanner Roark, who struggled in his outing against the O’s last night.
“They’re stronger than most,” Baker said.
“I remember when I was in Venezuela, they didn’t call them ‘workhorse’ they called them ‘un caballo’, same thing.
“A guy called me that one day and a teammate told that’s one of the ultimate compliments that you get is when they call you ‘un caballo’, because un caballo is used to working.
“Now if they had called me a mule it would have been something different. But your workhorse, yeah, they’re strong. ‘Are you tired? Yeah, but I’m not tired as you are because I’m in better shape than you and I have a stronger mind than you,’ and that’s what these guys are.”
Here’s the lineup that will try to avoid the sweep: