by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Back in July, Nationals fans learned of the extent to which closer Rafael Soriano goes to preserve his body, which includes spending time before games in a hyperbaric chamber, and frequent massages.

“For the past five years, he has employed a Dominican massage therapist who lives nearby,” James Wagner wrote, at the time, in the Washington Post. “Following his massage, it’s time to get into the chamber.”

We learned a little more about those massages, via MASN’s Dan Kolko, as Soriano entered a 6-3 Nationals-led game in the bottom of the ninth in Los Angeles against the Dodgers Monday night.

Soriano, as Kolko described on the MASN telecast (video unavailable), travels with his personal massage therapist, even paying out-of-pocket to have a massage awaiting him in the next hotel room over on Nationals road trips.

While Soriano may have remained relaxed as he pursued his 31st save, his mental state didn’t keep him from another heart-wrenching outing last night.

Sori sacrificed one run to the Dodgers, on a single to Juan Uribe that scored Yasiel Puig, who’d walked, before putting runners on the corners, and the Dodgers in position to tie with two outs, on a Carl Crawford single to center field.

He would eventually get that 31st save, after allowing a long, terrifying foul ball to Dodgers power-filled rookie Joc Pederson, who would strike out looking, leaving Nats fans to some much-needed R&R.

The Nationals 6-4 victory can largely be attributed to another wave of home runs — they combined for four homers off Dodgers starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez, who accomplished the rare feat of allowing a multi-homer game from Denard Span (video here).

But the real winner, here, is Soriano’s massage therapist, who gets to see the country while laying up in fancy hotels on someone else’s dime.

(Side note: I’ve now learned the difference between massage therapist, masseur and masseuse.) 


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