Riggleman, Eckstein give hitters pep talk

Riggleman, Eckstein give hitters pep talk

PHILADELPHIA -- Jim Riggleman felt time could not be wasted, even if Roy Halladay loomed Thursday night to waste a perfectly good pep talk the Nationals manager and hitting coach Rick Eckstein called with the team's struggling hitters during the afternoon.

"You like to have those meetings when you are facing an emergency starter," smiled Riggleman said with a smile.

The Nationals, who were swept by the Phillies and Halladay hours later, aren't exactly a laugh riot these days, but Riggleman was clear that no riot act was read once the door to his office was closed.

"We just wanted to get all our hitters together with Rick and myself and just let them know the confidence level we have in them, to [tell them to] just keep pushing and doing all the little things we do defensively, running the bases and all that kind of stuff.

"Let's get it going offensively. But in the meantime, let's go win a ballgame regardless of whether it's 2-1 or 10-9."

"I think they were receptive. Some spoke up.

"Those kinds of things you want to have a little impact but it always comes down to the 60-feet, six-inch battle that takes place every night and every pitch."

All Riggleman and Eckstein were asking from their hitters was to continue that fight.

"It was positive," said Jerry Hairston Jr. "We really have a bunch of guys who don't get too down or too high. We battle."