The big story in Wednesday's Nats game was Nyjer Morgan charging the mound after Marlins starter Chris Volstad threw at him twice. Mark Zuckerman has a nice collection of quotes from the Nationals clubhouse after the game.
Nyjer Morgan on being thrown at the first time:
It was a hard play yesterday. I understand they had to get me back a little bit. It's part of the game. I'm hard player. I'm going out there and just playing the game.
On being hit a second time because he stole bases while down 11 runs:
"That was garbage. That's just bad baseball. It's only the fourth inning. If they're going to hold me on, I'm going to roll out. The circumstances were kind of out of whack, but the game was too early. It was only the fourth inning. If it happened again, I'd do it again. It's one of those things where I'm a hard-nosed player. I'm grimey."
On why he thought he needed to charge the mound:
He hit me the first time, so be it. But he hit two other of our guys? Alright, cool. But then he whips another one behind me, we got to go. I'm just sticking up for myself and just defending my teammates. I'm just going out there and doing what I have to do."
That sounds like the kind of quote that will earn Nyjer Morgan a healthy suspension from Major League Baseball. If there is anything he commissioner hates more than the act, it's the lack of remorse afterward.
After Manager Jim Riggleman got on Morgan's case this weekend, one might expect he would be critical of Morgan in this game. But he surprisingly wasn't, particularly when it came to Morgan stealing two bases after being hit the first time.
"You know, my feeling has always been, if you hit somebody, then you did what you set out to do. You hit him, and now if he decides to run on you, that's his business. I got no problem with that. We decide when we run. The Florida Marlins will not decide when we run. We will decide when we run. Nobody will decide when we run. I don't put restrictions on when somebody else can run. That's not in my control. But nobody's going to put the controls on me as to when our club runs. If Nyjer decides to run, he ran. That's his business. He felt that's the way I'm going to get my payback."
But that might be the biggest problem in all this. Nyjer Morgan stealing two bases after being hit the first time is considered, "payback," when it could just as easily be seen as Morgan trying his hardest to get his team back into the game.
Back to Riggleman ... on contemplating retaliation of his own:
"But they made the decision to throw at Nyjer. They did. Then, the question is: Do we throw at them? I got some of my veteran players together. I said it's your ballclub. If you want somebody getting thrown at, I'll order it right now. And everybody said, 'Nah, it's over. It's over. They threw at him, and it's over.' That being the case, when they threw at him the second time, then it's not over."
Finally, the hero of the night in the mind of many Nats fans, Pat Listach, who was coaching third base but ran over to join the melee.
"My intention is to not let anybody get hurt. Chris did what he thought he had to do, and Nyjer did what he had to do. But I'm not going to allow it to be six guys on one, with Nyjer out there by himself. I'm going to defend him and make sure he doesn't get hurt, or anybody hurts anybody else. It's to really break up the fight, that's all."
You can see some video of the Nationals reaction on MLB.com.