Koda Glover blew the save Saturday and had to be relieved. Now he is on the DL. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

Koda Glover’s blown save Saturday afternoon grew into a lingering issue when he and his manager revealed that the 24-year-old suffered a back injury in the shower before the game, but he did not tell Nationals coaches until after his outing. In so doing, he flirted with that polarizing line between honesty and excuses, while also acknowledging another injury in what has become a young career full of them. This one, like the left hip pain he dealt with earlier this season, will cost him time.

Sunday, the Nationals placed Glover on the 10-day disabled list with what they called “lower back stiffness,” and activated right-hander Joe Blanton to take his place. Blanton had been on the disabled list since May 17 with right shoulder inflammation, the symptoms of which unofficially included uncharacteristically poor performance. For two seasons, Blanton was one of the more reliable right-handed relievers in baseball.

But in 14 games with the Nationals, all of Blanton’s peripheral statistics signaled a substantial change. His home-runs-per-nine innings leapt from less than one to nearly five. His batting average on balls in play jumped from .240 — enough below league average to expect regression — to .368, enough above league average to nearly guarantee a progression to the mean.

“I was able to make it mechanically the way I needed to kind of pain-free, and hopefully get where to where I need to be,” Blanton said Sunday. “And the last couple, two, three times I threw off a mound was more normal than it had been in a while, mechanically speaking.”

As a result, Blanton said, he saw different finish on his fastball and slider, the two most important pitches to his arsenal. He should also be able to replicate his delivery better than he had been, when every pitch was a battle with comfort and self-correction.

“You’re changing your mechanics, so you don’t get the same finish that you’re used to. And I wasn’t able to basically accelerate through the throw,” Blanton said. “The ball didn’t have the same life on it and same action. The slider was hanging a lot more than when I was throwing well.”

With Blanton back and Glover on the disabled list for the second time this season, the Nationals are once again without a clear-cut closer. Righty Matt Albers seems like the most natural choice, though Dusty Baker does not address the media before Sunday games, and therefore was not able to comment on the closing situation. Shawn Kelley and Blake Treinen filled that role before Glover, the first of the three to stick for any substantial period, and whose durability was the knock against him when the Nationals chose their Opening Day closer in the first place.

In other injury news,  the Nationals lineup Sunday does not include Ryan Zimmerman for the second day in a row, and third time in the past four days. Zimmerman said Saturday he and the team are being overly cautious with his sore back, and that while he might sit on Sunday, he expects to be back in the lineup on Monday. Additionally, shortstop Trea Turner will get his first day off since April. Stephen Drew will start at shortstop in his place.

NATIONALS (38-23)
Brian Goodwin LF
Bryce Harper RF
Daniel Murphy 2B
Anthony Rendon 3B
Adam Lind 1B
Matt Wieters C
Stephen Drew SS
Michael A. Taylor CF
Max Scherzer P

RANGERS (29-32)
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Elvis Andrus SS
Nomar Mazara LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Rougned Odor 2B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Joey Gallo 1B
Delino DeShields CF
Austin Bibens-Dirkx P