Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats hope to score more runs in St. Louis than they did in Colorado.
But then the Nats went and purchased Drew Storen's contract, and the rookie reliever will be in uniform and available to pitch in a big-league game for the first time tonight. And clearly I couldn't skip out on that.
So, thanks to some help from the good folks at CSNwashington.com, I'm calling an audible at the line of scrimmage. Instead of flying from Denver to Dulles this morning, I'm flying from Denver to St. Louis, where hopefully a good Storen story or two awaits.
I'll be interested to see how the 22-year-old handles all the attention. He's typically very outgoing and media-friendly, in part because he's had good training (his father, Mark Patrick, is a sports-talk radio host). So I think he'll do fine with the spotlight.
And Storen does deserve the spotlight after playing second fiddle to Stephen Strasburg the last 11 months. Strasburg's day will come soon enough. Right now, Storen gets to soak up the limelight as a big-league ballplayer.
At the same time, Drew better be ready to pitch, because the Nationals certainly need him right now. They head into this abbreviated, two-game series against the Cardinals riding their first three-game losing streak of the season. With Redbirds ace Chris Carpenter waiting in the wings to start tomorrow, tonight's game against struggling Kyle Lohse might be the Nats' best chance at ensuring at least a 4-5 record on this road trip.
How will the Nationals respond to this first taste of semi-prolonged losing? Their manager is confident they'll be just fine.
"I know how we're going to respond: We're going to respond with a good effort," Jim Riggleman said after yesterday's 2-1 loss to the Rockies. "Now, that don't mean you're going to win the ballgame. But I know we'll respond with a good effort. That's what we did today. We had a tough loss in New York and we responded with two tough wins right after that. But it's great competition. Nobody's giving you anything. They don't care if you lose 15 in a row. Every day, you've got to win the ballgame. Nobody's going to give you a ballgame."