Recap: Rainout in the Capital
Therubber match between the Nationals and Mets was postponed today due to heavy rain in the DC area. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Friday July 26th starting at 1:35pm.
While it is unfortunate to not see the Nats shake off the cobwebs that reappeared as a result of last night’s beat down, this may very well be a blessing in disguise for a team needing as much rest as possible. The postponement will make Gio Gonzalez the projected pitcher in tomorrow’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins, on an extra day’s rest. This allows Nathan Karns to make his 3rd major league start on normal rest and would, more importantly, negate the need to call up Ross Ohlendorf from Triple AAA Syracuse. Ohlendorf is 4-5 with a 4.32 ERA in 11 starts this year, and most recently pitched last year for the Padres, where he went 4-4 in nine starts while sporting a 7.77 ERA. Obviously, given the luck the Nationals have received thus far, the Nats might be happy to have this one break in their favor.
This might be especially important given the news today that injured lefty Ross Detwiler will be scheduled to make a rehab start at High-A Potomac on Saturday. Assuming everything goes smoothly, manager Davey Johnson indicated that Detwiler would pitch next weekend, either in the rubber match against the Colorado Rockies, or in the series opener against the Cleveland Indians.
Getting Detwiler back would be a huge bonus for a depleted Nationals lineup that, in all likelihood, will remain without Bryce Harper for some time, with news coming out today that the team leader in HR, BA, OBP and SLG will be seeing famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews to garner a second opinion on his knee. Apparently, the swelling in his knee has not subsided, and he continues to feel pain doing light jogging. Washington fans will cringe hearing Andrews’ name, given his involvement in the diagnosis and ultimate ACL surgery of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. But the Nationals medical team are insistent that the issue is bursitis, and that there hasn’t been any structural damage down to his knee. While it is convenient to assume the worst given that the words “knee” and “Dr. James Andrews” are being invoked in the same sentence, Nats fans should continue to hold out hope that Washington’s most important field player will return sooner rather than later. The Nats are 4-11 with Harper out of the lineup.
A couple final quick notes: Danny Espinosa had a cortisone shot in his right wrist, and will be cleared to resume normal baseball activities in approximately 4-5 days. Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Tuesday in Colorado; if all goes well, he would be available to pitch on June 16th at Philadelphia. The Nats hold the 68th pick in tonight’s Major League Baseball Draft, and have a bonus pool of $2,737,200. In comparison, the Astros, picking first, have a bonus pool of $11,698,800.
The Nationals will square off against the Minnesota Twins tomorrow night with southpaw Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.64 ERA) going up against former Pirate Kevin Correia (5-4, 4.09 ERA).