Ovechkin's first pitch performance mirrors playoff careerJune 9, 2018 7:02pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin's first attempt at a ceremonial first pitch was so bad he asked for — and got — a mulligan.

"Too excited, too strong," Ovechkin said after sailing his first throw over Max Scherzer's head at Nationals Park. "I try to do my best."

Wearing a white Nationals jersey with his captain's "C'' on the front and his No. 8 on the back, the Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe Trophy winner asked for the ball back and connected with Scherzer on his second try.

Ovechkin and the Nationals' ace embraced midway between the mound and the plate before the Washington Capitals' superstar captain picked the Cup back up again to chants of "Ovi, Ovi!"

It was fitting that after nine first- or second-round playoff exits preceded this Capitals Stanley Cup run, Ovechkin got it right on his do-over.

"What I did like is he wanted another throw," coach Barry Trotz said. "And that was sort of maybe a little bit symbolic to where he's come. Where the pitch failed. Instead of 'That's enough,' he said, 'No, give me another shot at it.' And he took another shot and did much better. So, I'm proud of him for that."

Trotz said Ovechkin's "got to work on his pitching." Sitting next to a parched Ovechkin afterward, defenseman John Carlson quipped, "It wasn't good."

"It was hard, but I think I did a nice job," Ovechkin said. "So we're all good."

Scherzer, who along with Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman donned full hockey gear to fire up Capitals fans before Game 4 of the Cup Final against Bryce Harper's Vegas Golden Knights, said, "We were hoping maybe he'd shoot it." Ovechkin probably would have been better off.

Or maybe 36 hours into party time he should've handed the ball to Trotz after carrying the Cup on to the field.

"Bad pitching," Trotz said. "I told him I should throw the ball. He goes, 'I'm good at it.' That's not good."

___

More Stanley Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/StanleyCupFinals

___

Follow Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SWhyno

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz tells team he is resigning, less than two weeks after winning Stanley CupWashington Capitals coach Barry Trotz tells team he is resigning, less than two weeks after winning Stanley Cup
Soto, Hicks HRs give Nats, Yanks unusual doubleheader splitPinch-hitter Juan Soto's tiebreaking two-run shot for the Nationals won the resumed opener of an unusual semi-doubleheader against the Yankees 5-3
FILE - In this June 8, 2018, file photo, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz arrives with the team at Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Va., the day after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals. Trotz has resigned as coach of the Washington Capitals after leading them to the Stanley Cup.  The team announced Trotz’s resignation Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals
Hernandez, Solarte hit back-to-back HRs, Jays beat Nats 8-6Hernandez and Solarte hit back-to-back HRs in tiebreaking eighth inning as Blue Jays beat Nationals 8-6 to complete three-game sweep
Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday June 17, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Braves no-hit bid ends in 7th after Teheran pulled vs Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano throws in the seventh inning during a baseball game against the New York Mets, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Nimmo, Cabrera hit HRs in 9th, rally Mets past D-backs 5-3
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices