Aug 22, 2013, 1:31 AM EDT
|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.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Rizzo not looking for outside help despite injuries
- Reliever Janssen needs MRI on shoulder
- Miami Marlins name Opening Day starter
- Nats and Marlins starters meet in tune-up
- Uggla hoping for starting job, not bench role with Nats
- AL East team scouting Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon
- Report: Nats making lefty relievers available for trade
- Strasburg labors in return from ankle sprain
- Former Nats OF released by Texas Rangers; Ohlendorf to Triple-A
- Nats announce season-opening rotation order