With Opening Day just a week away, the Washington Nationals were still unsure of who would be the closer.
After the team didn't re-sign Mark Melancon this offseason, and missed out on top free agent Kenley Jansen, the team got dangerously close to starting the season without naming a closer.
That was, until Thursday morning, when manager Dusty Baker tabbed Blake Treinen as the pitcher who would handle the ninth inning in save situations.
"To be in the position Dusty has put me in, I feel honored," Treinen said according to Mark Zuckerman.
This will be Treinen's fourth season with the Nationals. In 2016, Treinen finished with a 2.28 ERA in 67 innings for the Nationals. The 28-year-old also had 63 strikeouts in 67 innings.
The Washington Nationals will start their season against the Miami Marlins on Monday, April 3rd at Nationals Park.
With Game 1 of the World Series set for Houston on Tuesday, the Nationals had limited free time in the District.
But that didn't stop Gerardo Parra on using his last free day to visit pediatric cancer patients with his wife, Tania, and the Nats mascot, Screech, at Children's National Hospital.
Parra and company handed out, what else, plush Baby Sharks to the patients, a nod to Parra's new walk-up song and Nats fans new anthem that has provided plenty of shark-clapping in arenas across DC and has even made its way to a local orchestra.
"Any time we have a chance to come here, I wanna come," Parra said of the visit. "I think the more important (thing) is the Baby Shark bring a lot of smile to the kids. So when I come here today, we see everybody when taking the Baby Shark happy, like smiling, dance to the Baby Shark, that's the point."
Parra also handed out "Stay in the Fight" t-shirts to parents and kids, an ode to the Nats' slogan throughout their playoff run.
Clearly, there will be some Baby Shark chomping action coming from Children's Hospital this World Series.
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Friendly wagers are one of the best parts of sports. They're even more fun when they involve two very good boys.
Thor, a black lab therapy dog from Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, challenged Tabby, a German Shepherd therapy dog at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., to a friendly bet on the Nats-Cardinals NLCS best of seven series. The bet was settled not too long after it began.
Since the Nationals swept the Cardinals, Thor had to wear a Nationals' bandana to work, courtesy of Tabby.
Thor does not look very amused, but at least he was a very good sport.
Hopefully, Thor will decide to cheer on the Nationals in their first-ever World Series against the Astros!
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