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NATIONALS NOTEBOOK

Robinson Can See Ohka's Pain

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page E09

NEW YORK, April 23 — Following Saturday's 10-5 loss to the New York Mets, Washington Nationals team physician Bruce Thomas leaned into the manager's office at Shea Stadium to tell Frank Robinson that right fielder Jose Guillen has a slightly strained groin muscle, and might not be available for Sunday's game. That merely added to Robinson's concerns.

Right-hander Tomo Ohka's struggles continued in a three-inning, three-walk, four-run performance that had Robinson convinced that Ohka is hurt.


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"I really don't care what he says," Robinson said. "There has to be something wrong with him. Has to be. I've seen this kid for three years. Even when he wasn't pitching well, he didn't come anyplace close to the way he's throwing the ball right now."

Ohka's velocity is down, and his control — 15 walks in 20-plus innings — is nowhere near what it usually is. Asked afterward if there was anything wrong with him, he initially indicated there might be something small.

"Not a big deal," he said. But he declined to pinpoint where any problem was, and when asked directly if he had a physical injury, he shook his head and said, "No."

The Nationals' medical staff examined Ohka and found no injuries, but Ohka almost surely will miss his next start.

Robinson said a decision on Guillen will come Sunday morning.

"If there's any questions, I won't take a chance with him," Robinson said. "I'd rather give him another day than be out a couple weeks or longer."


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