“What would the Nationals’ outfield picture have looked like if Roger Bernadina hadn’t leapt at the Nationals Park wall last April 18, caught his right ankle under a pad and broken it? Would they have given him a shot to keep the center field job, never trading for Nyjer Morgan? Or would they have moved him to right field, allowing him enough work to supplant Elijah Dukes and settle that position before the season?
Bernadina, turning 26 in June, has lived much of his career on what-ifs, waiting until age 23 to make his major-league debut and seeing big-league action only in small doses the last two years. He was sent to Triple-A Syracuse to start the season, missing a shot at an eminently winnable right-field job and looking like his career might never get past the what-if stage.”
“Before play began today, Nats’ outfielder Roger Bernadina had stepped to the plate 126 times in 41 games played since the 26-year-old Willemstad, Curacao-born Bernadina made his major league debut on June 29, 2008 and in all those games and trips to the plate, he’d never hit one out of the yard, he’d hit 2 for Triple-A Syracuse already this year, and as many as 12 in a season back in 2004 with the Class-A Savannah Sand Gnats, but today, he hit two, one a solo shot off Mike Pelfrey to give Washington a 3-2 lead in the fourth and the other a two-run blast in the top of the ninth that set the nation’s capital’s favorite closerMatt Capps up to close out the win for the 14th time in 14 opportunities.”
“In the second inning, Stammen pulled a two-run single down the third base line to score Adam Dunn and Cristian Guzm?n. Stammen drove in another run in the fourth, slapping a single that skipped past the Mets’ infielders as Wil Nieves scored, giving the Nationals a 4-2 lead…Stammen’s shaky start put reliever Tyler Clippard in position for his seventh win, a mark that leads the majors. Clippard pitched one flawless inning in the eighth with the score tied at 4-4…Asked to estimate his final win total, Clippard replied with a smile and lighthearted humor. “I’ll say 40 to 45,” Clippard said. “Why not?”
“The Nationals took care of business in a hard fought 6-4 victory over Team Choke East on Wednesday night. Centerfielder Roger Bernadina smashed both his first and second major league career homeruns and racked up three RBIs while starter Craig Stammen went five innings giving up four earned runs and four walks, but helped himself by going 2 for 2 with three RBIs with the bat….The Nats retake sole possession of second in the NL East at 19-15 and are only 1.5 games back from the division lead. From this vantage point, first place Philadelphia doesn’t need binoculars to see the Nats coming up on their cheating asses. “Things in the mirror are closer than they appear, Filths.”