The Washington Nationals are topping off their victories with a side of chocolate syrup, and now the materials will be free.
After hearing about the team's new tradition of dumping a bottle of chocolate syrup on the head of the player whose bat won the game, Hershey's sent 24 bottles to the team last week and another 108 will arrive on Thursday, Hershey's spokesperson Anna Lingeris told ESPN.com on Wednesday night.
Other dessert ingredients have been featured in postgame celebrations -- most common of all, whipped cream -- but chocolate sauce is certainly a unique one.
Ace Max Scherzer,the Nationals' high-priced offseason acquisition, is the man behind the mess.
"It's just something to top off a good win," Scherzer said. "Chocolate sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream, so might as well top off a game and give that person in the on-the-field camera interview a little something to taste."
Scherzer started the practice last month when teammate Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to top off a 13-12 victory. But Ryan Zimmerman's chocolate syrup celebration after a walk-off home run against the Yankees on Tuesday certainly got the attention of the chocolate makers in Pennsylvania.
"We started to notice what they were doing last week," Lingeris said. "And then this morning, we saw Ryan Zimmerman and we said, 'We have to send more.' We want to make sure there's always enough for them."
Hershey's and the Nationals have no official partnership, so the relationship is completely organic, Lingeris said.
The 108 bottles, Lingeris noted, equals 200 pounds of chocolate syrup, which luckily doesn't have to be refrigerated and has a shelf life of a year.
"It looks like they are using a whole bottle each time," Lingeris said. "This should last them a while."
Scherzer's teammates don't want it to be only for big offensive moments because they want to treat the creator of the idea to a postgame sundae.
"We might have to throw some nuts on him," center fielder Denard Span said. "Some whipped cream, cherry, everything."
The Mets' 9-0 loss to the Cardinals, coupled with the Nationals' 3-2 win over the Yankees on Wednesday night, gave the Nats (24-17) sole possession of first place in the NL East.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.