Last month, the Nationals introduced a bullpen cart. The four-wheel contraption, though, had yet to see much use until this weekend; the Nationals relievers, MASN color commentator FP Santangelo noted Saturday night (Sunday Morning?) were waiting for bullpen cart enthusiast Sean Doolittle to return from the DL to give it a ride.
Last night, Sean Doolittle returned from the DL, and the bullpen cart got more action than it’s seen since... well, ever. Its usage wasn’t just tied to Doolittle, though: in the seventh inning, Bryce Harper slammed a two-run homer off the top of the cart, which lives behind the centerfield wall.
Bryce Harper walked.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 9, 2018
Bryce Harper walked.
Bryce Harper walked.
Bryce Harper definitely didn't walk. pic.twitter.com/EfRcFl2FHS
The next inning, Doolittle entered his first game back from the DL, and gave the bullpen cart its first real trip. He already looked incredibly comfortable, like he had ridden it (or imagined riding it) a few times.
Daniel Murphy, Doolittle’s former teammate who now leads off for the Chicago Cubs, was at the plate waiting to face him. He was... amused.
Daniel Murphy's reaction to Sean Doolittle riding the bullpen cart is just as great. pic.twitter.com/ZEs1sfS3F3— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) September 9, 2018
Doolittle then proceeded to strike out Murphy and get the next out after to complete his two thirds of the eighth inning (Koda Glover recorded the first out). With the rain pelting down, Doolittle enjoyed his first moments back on a major league field in a while:
Why am I crying in the club rn pic.twitter.com/newgIGkAdM— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) September 9, 2018
(Don’t let Eireann’s genuine comment fool you; only hours later, she was making fun of her husband.)
Sean can’t tweet rn because he’s at work so I made this but please do not show him. I need it to be a surprise when he sees the bumper sticker I put on the bullpen cart. pic.twitter.com/rWQlTrQqvd— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) September 9, 2018
Other tweeters had some fun with the photo, too.
It was the best part of an otherwise-rough weekend (weather-wise) for the Nats. One can only wonder what will happen if a major hurricane makes landfall next week.