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Nationals’ reliever Ryan Madson: Bounty hunter mentality; bullpen carts; usage early in 2018...

Ryan Madson talked with MLB Network Radio hosts Casey Stern and Brad Lidge on Friday about riding in the bullpen cart out in Arizona, his mentality coming out of the pen, and more...

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Doolittle’s rides in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen carts got all the attention while Washington’s Nationals were in Chase Field last weekend, but 37-year-old Ryan Madson too took a ride, which he probably needed considering he pitched in three of the four games in the series.

He clearly enjoyed it, as he told MLB Network Radio hosts Casey Stern and Brad Lidge on Friday afternoon.

“I’m going to do it every time I get a chance to,” Madson joked in the interview.

“Some days,” he said to Lidge, “... you knew it later on in your career, running in sometimes you don’t feel the best. You get a little ache in your back, and an ache in your shin and your ankle, and you’re like, ‘Oh, man,” then you start thinking, ‘I’m still doing this, you know,’ and so the cart eliminated all those thoughts of being old and getting old, so I just ran straight in and it kind of made it fun, and when you can match fun with playing at this high level, then good things happen.”

MLB: Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Madson’s 21 appearances are the fourth-most among NL relievers this season, though there are a bunch of relievers with 22 and 23, behind only Sammy Solis (23) among the Nationals’ bullpen arms, and the Colorado RockiesBryan Shaw, whose 24 are the most in the National League so far.

“I don’t get paid like I’m 28, but sometimes they ask me to pitch like I’m 28,” Madson joked in discussing the way the Nationals’ bullpen has been used early this season, though he did say, as Davey Martinez has, that there’s constant communication between management and Washington’s relief corps, and the decisions are made by everyone involved.

“When you’re on a championship-caliber team, you’re trying to win a World Series, you’re going to try to push your guys,” he explained.

“And I can [only] speak for myself, but to a man I think everybody would say, if they ask, ‘Can you go?’ we’re going to say, ‘Yes.’

“Especially in the bullpen, ‘Can you get us some outs?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘How do you feel?’ ‘Good.’

“That’s always the same. Just pushing it to the limit, and with the other factors incorporated into that, I think it’s just one of the things that happens, and it’s worth it, I think it’s worth it for teams, and it’s worth it for players. You know, in Arizona I went three out of four, and on the fourth one, they asked if I could get four outs — and I had gotten four outs my first appearance there, and then I got the save two days later, and then I was asked to go back-to-backs to go three out of four, and, ‘Of course. Sure.’

“I was feeling good, no problem, because I think for some players, and for me, there’s a bounty out there to get. It’s like, hey your team wants you to go out there and get these outs, and there’s a bounty, there’s a half-million dollar bounty on these guys, you have to get four outs, and there’s a half-million dollar bounty, I’m going to go for it, that’s just how I am, how I’ve always been, and sometimes I’ll pay the price for that, you know, so I’m still a little sore from that series, a week — almost five days later, but it’s one of those things, when you’re asked to do it, you’re going to do it, I mean, that’s just the way it is.”

Madson also talked about saying that Nationals’ closer Sean Doolittle is his favorite closer, which hurt Lidge’s feelings apparently: