As rain pounded South Capitol Street leaving most of the Nationals in the big brown clubhouse chairs during the time normally reserved for batting practice, a few beeps sounded from down the hall. Those sounds were followed shortly thereafter by a grown man on a little motorized bike, one leg outstretched in a brace, flying alongside. That man was Adam Eaton, speeding around in a pair of P.F. Flyers for his daily rehab work. Eaton had surgery Tuesday, and plans to do his rehab here in D.C., to stay around his teammates as much as possible.
On his way into the clubhouse, Eaton passed by the locker of Koda Glover, nearest the entrance. Glover rejoined the Nationals on Wednesday after a successful rehab outing at Class AA Harrisburg. He threw a scoreless inning on 19 pitches, gave up what he described as a cheap hit, and even worked some curveballs into his mix. Glover, who has said he was ready to return since last week, hopes to be activated Friday, something his manager suggested was a real possibility.
Dusty Baker did not change into uniform before his pregame news conference, nor did he change immediately afterward. He was in no rush to don his uniform before what seemed likely to be a lengthy rain delay. His street clothes ensemble included a green hat with an orange B on it, one that looked like the Boston Red Sox logo, though he assured reporters it was not. Instead, he said, it was the hat of the Baltimore Elite Giants, a team that played in the Negro leagues for more than a decade.
“That’s who a couple coaches played for. [Former Dodgers coach] Jim Gilliam talked about them,” Baker said. “I just wanted to wear it because it’s raining.”
Baker discussed a wide range of topics on this rainy afternoon, including his opinion about extra innings, a topic of widespread discussion around the game these days as some wonder whether the rules should be modified to allow ties or limit game length.
“I like extra innings. That shows who’s the strongest mentally and the strongest physically,” said Baker, with the kind of wry smile he flashes now and then. “Personally, I’m letting you off the hook if you’re weak mentally and weak physically by doing that. I kind of like man versus man.”
Baker also revealed that he asked those responsible if they would put up the Capitals and Wizards scores during the Nationals game Wednesday night, though that did not happen until the NBA and NHL playoff contests were over. He said his team was conscious of the scores of those games, though he did not know if it had anything to do with the comeback they staged.
“I’m trying to bring pride in the area,” said Baker, whose Nationals were the only D.C. team to win Wednesday night.
His lineup for Thursday night, should the Nationals get the chance to use it, is the same one he has settled on in Eaton’s absence. A.J. Cole will make the start, his second of the year.
Trea Turner SS
Jayson Werth LF
Bryce Harper RF
Ryan Zimmerman 1B
Daniel Murphy 2B
Anthony Rendon 3B
Matt Wieters C
Michael A. Taylor CF
A.J. Cole P
Seth Smith LF
Adam Jones CF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Mark Trumbo RF
Jonathan Schoop 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Caleb Joseph C
Dylan Bundy P