Aug 22, 2013, 1:31 AM EST
|USA Today Sports Images|
CHICAGO — There is no tougher ballpark in America in which to pinch-hit than Wrigley Field, where the lone batting cage is tucked away underneath the right field bleachers and thus is inaccessible to players during the course of a game.
Scott Hairston, though, has spent his share of time playing inside the Friendly Confines, most notably three months earlier this season while a member of the Cubs. So the 33-year-old outfielder knows the tricks of the trade.
“You have to really keep in mind that your body can get tight on the bench,” he said. “So I usually get up every other inning and stretch or ride the bike. I think mainly you have to be mentally focused in that situation and prepared to come in and do your job.”
Davey Johnson asked Hairston to do his job in the top of the seventh inning Wednesday night: Come in cold off the bench and face a tough left-hander late in a tie ballgame. That Hairston delivered in a big way, clubbing a three-run homer off James Russell to lift the Nationals to an 11-6 victory, only underscored Johnson’s faith that he could be a key contributor to this team.
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