After night of revelry, Nationals scrubs will play hungover Wednesday in Atlanta
The Washington Nationals clinched the National League East on Tuesday night courtesy of a 3-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
As major league ball clubs are wont to do, the Nats celebrated wildly following the team’s division-clinching victory. The notion that teams engage in such demonstrations of revelry despite the fact they actually have accomplished very little is an affront to many who feel teams should wait until at least a series win in the postseason is secured. Despite the misgivings of some, it’s the way things are done these days and there’s little to be done about it.
Given that the players likely partied long into the night to celebrate winning the division — what with the beer and champagne spraying, halted only by beer and champagne guzzling by some, but not all ballplayers (there are some teetotalers among big leaguers) — it perhaps should come as no surprise that the lineup that will be trotted out for Wednesday’s 6:10 game against the Braves will have all the appearances of something more appropriate for a spring training game rather than a regular season tilt in September.
To wit, here’s who will be facing the Braves Wednesday evening:
1. Michael Taylor, CF
2. Danny Espinosa, 2B
3. Kevin Frandsen, 3B
4. Tyler Moore, 1B
5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
6. Steven Souza, LF
7. Jeff Kobernus, 2B
8. Sandy Leon, C
9. Blake Treinen, SP
Yep, as Hardball Talk notes, not a regular among them. No Bryce Harper. No Jayson Werth. No Denard Span. No Adam LaRoche. No one. Not a soul. Nada.
Heck, the starting pitcher, Blake Treinen, isn’t even a member of the regular starting rotation. He’s started only five games this season.
It could be argued that the Nationals simply are preparing for the postseason and attempting to avoid injury, but there is much left to be played for, namely home field advantage through the NLCS. The Nats currently hold the top spot in the National League and it would be advisable to hold onto that position for the postseason.
So, the only thing that can be gleaned from this rather underwhelming lineup is that the Nationals to a man, especially the regulars, are extremely hungover Thursday. Let the scrubs struggle through foggy heads and queasy stomachs. The usual suspects can sit this one out to rest, recover and rehydrate on Gatorade in the safe confines of the dugout. At least for one night.
Why? Because of this:
Yup, it makes sense.