-- The Nationals' fourth starter, for now, appears to be career reliever Hector Carrasco. Washington Manager Frank Robinson said Carrasco, who pitched four innings in Tuesday night's 4-2 victory over the New York Mets, will start Saturday in San Diego, the next time the pitching-strapped Nationals need a spot starter.
"I know he could go four innings," Robinson said. "And with his pitch count down, possibly he could go five."
Carrasco, who now has 556 appearances as a reliever and two as a starter, was giddy about the possibility of starting again. "It's different," he said. "But I had fun."
The Nationals will be in this position for the rest of the season because of injuries to starters Ryan Drese and Tony Armas Jr. Carrasco threw 74 pitches against the Mets, 24 more than his previous high this season. Robinson said he will be unavailable from the bullpen before his start on Saturday.
Bob Watson, Major League Baseball's vice president of on-field operations, tried to contact Robinson on Wednesday regarding Robinson's ejection from Tuesday's game against the Mets. Robinson expects to speak to Watson about the matter within the next few days.
Robinson, however, didn't back down from his account of the events from the sixth inning of the Nationals' victory. He was ejected for arguing a check-swing call on the Mets' Victor Diaz, but then argued extensively. Robinson said crew chief Joe Brinkman swore at him several times in telling him to leave the field. Asked afterward by a pool reporter if he had used profane language, Brinkman said, "I don't know if I did or not, to tell you the truth."
Robinson was indignant on that count Wednesday.
"I can't believe that he said that," Robinson said.
Robinson will likely be fined for the incident, his third ejection of the year.
Catcher Brian Schneider was out of the lineup Wednesday after re-injuring his right shoulder during Tuesday's win. Schneider entered the game in the eighth inning, but said by the ninth he almost couldn't throw.
"I can't figure out what it was," Schneider said. "I know after the game, it didn't feel good at all."
Backup Gary Bennett, who entered the game with just two hits in his last 26 at-bats and with his average down to .219, started for the second straight night.