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Justin Maxwell's big week

Justin Maxwell sat next to Ian Desmond this morning in the Nationals clubhouse, finally a chance to relax. "Expect me to get hot," Desmond joked. "Maxwell's my boy." They both bragged about their prowess when they played together in Class A Potomac. They claimed they were the best 1-2 combination in the history of the Carolina League, which I don't think is an official designation.

Maxwell had arrived there, back in the major leagues, after the best and probably busiest week of his life. On Sunday, he played for Class AAA Syracuse and drove to Frederick that night to be with his wife, Loren. At 8 a.m. Monday, Loren gave birth to Liana, their second child.

He drove to Scranton, Pa., to meet his Syracuse teammates. After batting practice Wednesday, Maxwell learned he would be playing for the Nationals again. He drove to Philadelphia last night.

All the travel -- "I've got real comfortable with my Pontiac," Maxwell said -- was worth it. In the span of 72 hours, Maxwell welcomed a daughter and became a big leaguer again. "I feel blessed," Maxwell said.

Maxwell landed in Syracuse to start the year because he suffered a monumental slump in spring training, going 5 for 50. With Syracuse hitting coach Jerry Brown, Maxwell emphasized simplifying his approach and went 5 for 15 with five walks to start the year in Class AAA.

"I was thinking about a lot of different things," Maxwell said. "When I'm at my best, I don't think about anything. It was good for me," Maxwell said. "I needed it."

With the Nationals, Maxwell will try to lock down a roster spot. It may not be easy. He is, in effect, replacing Mike Morse, who was originally replaced by Roger Bernadina. Maxwell will have a chance to earn his spot, but when Morse returns, Maxwell may have to return to the minors.

"There's no guarantees," Maxwell said. "Last year's experience, moving up and down, I let it affect the way I play. I just realized that I'm a pro baseball player, and anytime I step between the lines I've got to do my job."

Maxwell has one more trip to make, back to Washington. He isn't sure when Loren will take Liana to her first game, but he's not worried. "I look better in HD, anyway," Maxwell said.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 15, 2010; 3:19 PM ET
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Next: Free of the Phillies, the Nationals head home


I can empathize with Maxweel. I have doen the Scranton drive via Frederick and to Philly more than a few times. That is an awful lot of blight to drive by in 2-3 days.

Welcome to Nats Town Liana!

Posted by: dfh21 | April 15, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The difference in this game is that Charlie Manuel decided to trust his bullpen and Riggleman decided to trust his starter(can you blame him) that being said Olsen pitched well sans those damn walks anyway Happy Jackie Robinson Day everyone.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 15, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

You know. Considerng how badly outmatched the Nats have looked against the Phils, I would take a 2-4 record against them, and a 4-5 overall. Can't wait to see which team outlclubs the other over the weekend. I'm heading to my first game of the year Saturday with the clan. Here's hoping Livan can work his magic this weekend.

Posted by: FriendofalltheWorld | April 15, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Well that was a welcome change,happy for this win and they battled back, they could have packed it in after last night's debacle,now let's see if we can string a few together, this home stand won't be easy with the Dodgers and Rockies providing a real test and the Brewers are dangerous too. Hell of a hit by Pudge to get some insurance runs, and Capps provided another Don Stanhouse moment throwing that gopher ball in the ninth but he settled down and closed it out.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 15, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Don Stanhouse! Only an old, very old Expo fan would bring up that name.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | April 15, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Watch it jcampbell 1 LOL!!

Posted by: dargregmag | April 15, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

@friendofall I agree. The Phils are the best team in the NL and a 2-4 record is OK and we have 6 of our 19 against them in the books. This team is definately an improvement over 09. Go Nats!! And Go Caps!!!

Posted by: chris88 | April 15, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I know a lot of people have gotten upset about how bad the nats have looked over 9 games, at times, but as is finally happening, all of us fans need to pay more attention to who we've been playing.

2-4 against Philly is excellent for this team. You could NOT expect more. Taking 2/3 from the Mets is something we would like to expect, and taking 1 of each 3 from the Phillies is exactly what I would HOPE for this year. At least until SS and DS make it up here.

I think this next 10 days or so will give us a much more realistic view of this year's Nats. While still better teams than we believe the Nats to be, these teams are NOT the Phillies. Now lets see if the boys can pull 2/3 this weekend and be at .500 on Sunday night. That would be a major accomplishment.

And remember, at least the Nat's are NOT the O's. They've won a whopping 1 game! Go Angelos! I love watching your team s^ck! Fitting result for your actions in preventing DC having a team for so long.

Posted by: Rogueone | April 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Got SRO tickets for SS37's second professional start tonight in Harrisburg. Current forecast calls for 60% chance of thunderstorms beginning at 6:00. Hope they can get this game in. Can't wait to see Strasburg and Storen.

Posted by: davidmistretta1 | April 16, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

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