The muscles in second baseman Jose Vidro's right leg had been bothering him for several days, but after missing nearly two months with a torn tendon in his ankle, the last thing he was going to do was complain about a little pain. So he played through the ache, hoping it would go away.
Then in a desperate attempt to ignite a dying offense on Friday night, he dropped a bunt down the third-base line in the eighth inning and immediately felt a burning in his leg. By the time he got to the stadium Saturday morning, the burning was so bad that he decided he couldn't play.
"I thought today that I could play, but I don't think I can go nine innings," he said.
So about an hour before Sunday's game Nationals Manager Frank Robinson and bench coach Eddie Rodriguez scrambled to change the lineup. Out went Vidro, as did right fielder Jose Guillen, who re-injured a sore right shoulder while sliding into third base on Friday night. This left Washington without its No. 2 and 3 hitters and it required some configuring. Jamey Carroll was inserted into Vidro's No. 2 spot. Nick Johnson moved from fourth to third, Vinny Castilla from fifth to fourth and Guillen's replacement, Ryan Church, was inserted in the No. 5 spot.
Guillen said he woke up feeling sore and hoped he would feel better by the time he got to the stadium but didn't. Robinson said he didn't expect either player to be ready until Tuesday.
Guillen's Delayed Reaction
Guillen was concerned on Friday that people would think he was showing off when he slammed a pitch to the base of the wall in left field but didn't run to first as if he thought the ball was long gone. But replays showed Guillen wasn't standing at the plate watching the ball, rather he whirled his head around in confused circles as if looking for something.
It turns out he had no idea where he had hit the ball. Given the way he swung on the pitch, he thought he fouled the ball off and was actually looking behind him to see where it went. He wound up with a single rather than the double he probably could have had.