Washington Nationals: ESPN’s Eduardo Perez chats with us


The ESPN analyst discussed Daniel Murphy, Dusty Baker along with how the Washington Nationals have been so successful this year.

District on Deck—FanSided’s home of the Washington Nationals—had the pleasure Friday afternoon speaking with ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez. Perez, Dan Shulman and Jessica Mendoza will call the nightcap of Sunday’s split doubleheader at Nationals Park between the Nats and the New York Mets.

Entering this stretch drive game, Perez and Ron Juckett touched on a variety of topics ranging from Daniel Murphy to the hidden successes of the Nats this year. His insights into the science of hitting and how Washington can beat the Los Angeles Dodgers was fascinating.

We started with Murphy and his mastery of the Mets. When asked why, Perez said:

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"“Maybe there is something to be said about playing for a team. Maybe focusing a bit more, although Daniel’s focus has always been great, against all the other teams.”"

A moment later, he added:

"“Yeah, you right. You [Mets] had the opportunity to lock me up, and you did not. Now I have the opportunity of being able to retaliate in an offensive way. He’s been able to do that consistently.”"

If Perez thought it was personal between Murphy and the Mets, he said:

"“You could say it was personal in a way in a competitive sense.”"

In chatting over Murphy’s refined approach to hitting, Perez feels making those adjustments come easier with age and many players are students in the art of hitting. He compares Murphy’s skills in that sense to Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto.

We moved on to how the injury-plagued Nats and Mets are different as his answer was simple.

“Starting pitching.”

He loves the front three of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, who he feels is throwing the best in his career.

When asked about Nats skipper Dusty Baker, you could hear the smile on Perez’s face:

"“He was my first manager in the [Arizona] Fall League. He is such a good communicator and players love playing for him. He can relate. [Baker] is current and up-to-date with the trends. He is passionate. He knows how difficult it is and has not forgotten how difficult it was to play the game. That right there is why players will run through a wall for him.”"

Asked for a hidden reason why the Nats have enjoyed so much success this year, Perez said speed running the bases. He praises Davey Lopes and the job he has done along with how important coaches are in winning games.

If you want to know what he said about the Nationals facing the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, watch the video below. Other tidbits include whether Murphy might manage and how the team has improved over the year.

Next: Why the Nats must resign Kintzler

You can watch the game starting at 8 PM ET on ESPN. Baseball Tonight precedes the action at 7 PM. A special thanks to ESPN and Perez for the time.