At around 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, nearly four hours before game time, Nationals Manager Davey Johnson held his daily pregame gathering with reporters and talked about, among a wide range of subjects, Chien-Ming Wang and a potential hip issue. And, Johnson said reliever Henry Rodriguez, who has been itching to return to the team and was at Nationals Park with his family, was going to re-join the Nationals soon but not for Tuesday’s night game.
Wang then threw a bullpen session and reported feeling more of that hip pain. So, the Nationals decided to place the struggling right-hander on the disabled list with a hip strain and reinstate Rodriguez, who made seven minor league appearances rehabbing from a injury to his right index finger.
This, of course, threw everything off.
“We’re screwing around to find Henry,” Johnson said. “Henry is going to have dinner with his wife. So I’m running around trying to find Henry, so at the last minute. And Henry had dinner plans and I said, ‘You’ve got to cancel your dinner plans.’ And he looked disappointed.”
Then, just before 9 p.m., the game was delayed because of rain and
didn’t resume until 10:20 p.m. The Nationals jumped out to an 8-0 lead, chasing Giants starter Tim Lincecum from the game in the fourth inning, and entered the ninth inning ahead, 9-3.
Reliever Michael Gonzalez came into the pitch the ninth inning and notched two outs. Then, Johnson signaled to the bullpen for Rodriguez, who hadn’t pitched for the Nationals since June 5. He came in and notched the game’s final out, striking out Ryan Theriot on a 100-mph fastball. Johnson felt obligated to get Rodriguez in the game.
“I did want to get him in the ballgame will all the stuff that went on,” Johnson said. “He looked good. Somehow, even with the rain delay and Chien-Ming, got everything in.”
FROM TODAY’S POST
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FROM YESTERDAY’S JOURNAL
NATS’ MINOR LEAGUES
Norfolk 4, Syracuse 3: Yunesky Maya allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings and was handed the loss, and center fielder Corey Brown went 2 for 3.
Harrisburg 4, Erie 3: Ryan Perry, a former reliever, allowed one run on three hits over five innings in his third-ever start in professional baseball. Left fielder Jesus Valdez went 2 for 6.
Carolina 5, Potomac 3: First baseman Stephen King and right fielder Randolph Oduber each collected two hits.
Lakewood 8, Hagerstown 3: Center fielder Brian Goodwin went 2 for 4 with a double and raised his batting average to .327. Left fielder Billy Burns went 3 for 4.