A couple of injury updates after the Nationals’ 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night. Catcher Kurt Suzuki said X-rays of his right hand were negative after he took a foul ball off it early in the game.
Suzuki immediately called team trainers over and tried a few shaky warm-up throws back to pitcher Ross Detwiler. But he stayed in the game and said he should be fine. The hand did swell and as the game continued and became sorer, too.
“Just trying to get some feeling back,” Suzuki said of his decision to continue on. “It’s one of those things where you just try to hope it comes back quick.”
“I was really worried about Suzuki. He got it right between those two knuckles on the right hand,” Washington manager Davey Johnson said. “And it’s awful swollen. But the trainers didn’t think it was broken. If it was broken, it would’ve started getting really painful. So I don’t think there’s a problem there.”
Johnson received another scare in the eighth inning when shortstop Ian Desmond pulled up lame as he tried to beat out an inning-ending double play with runners at first and second and one out in a 2-1 game. Desmond hit a slow hopper deep in the hole to Atlanta shortstop Paul Janish. It looked like he had the throw beat easy and that the inning would at least continue with runners at the corners and two out. But Desmond gave a yelp as he tore down the baseline and pulled up before the throw beat him to the bag.
Again, Johnson: “[Desmond] – he scared me to death. I thought he pulled a hamstring. And he said he just tripped. We’re all right there.”
Desmond concurred: “No X-rays. I mean, I had it looked at just to make sure everything was okay. Everything was structurally fine and I think maybe my knee might have just hyper-extended a little bit or something.”
He’ll have a day off to recover on Thursday before the Nats head to Philadelphia for a weekend series. There’s another day off Monday if Desmond and Suzuki remain sore before a flight to Miami for a series Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I think it was just kind of one of those things I was running down the line and I felt something and my first reaction was just to jump off of it before something bad happened,” Desmond said. “But once that happened and I ran down the line it felt fine and I was able to stay in the game. I could have done anything. I mean, I wouldn’t have taken myself out to hit. If my at-bat came up I would have hit, no doubt. But I think it just scared me more than anything.”
Desmond, remember, missed 25 games in July and August thanks to a lingering left oblique tear and only returned last Friday. After a rough weekend he had homered in his previous two games. Another serious injury would have been hard to swallow.
“Anytime you feel something awkward in your body it’s obviously at first a little startling,” Desmond said. “I think that’s the majority of what it was. I kind of was just running and maybe trying to run too hard or something. I don’t know. I did not want to hit into a double play and not score another RBI.”
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