May 17, 2011, 4:22 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Laynce Nix congratulates Danny Espinosa on the latter’s go-ahead homer.
Danny Espinosa had been through every other emotion over the last three weeks as his batting average tumbled, from frustration to anger to uncertainty about his ability to hit a baseball.
So by the seventh inning of Monday night’s game, after he had twice drilled pitches only to see Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen track them down, the Nationals’ struggling rookie second baseman with the .190 average decided there was nothing left to agonize about.
“I had to just laugh those off,” he said. “I couldn’t get angry about that. I felt like I put two good swings on the ball.”
Not as good as the swing Espinosa put on the ball the third time he stepped to the plate. This time he connected off reliever Jose Ascanio, sending the two-run homer into the right-field bullpen that sent the Nationals to a 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh.
After pausing for just a second to admire his biggest hit in weeks, Espinosa started around the bases and couldn’t help but say to himself: “About [expletive] time.”
The Nationals might have been feeling the same way about their 24-year-old second baseman, who after a hot start to the season was
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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