Ryan Mattheus will likely get a few days off the bullpen workload as he was pulled from Thursday night’s game with right shoulder tightness — the same issue that plagued him a week ago.
Mattheus was called upon with two outs in the eighth and three runs already home after an uncharacteristic outing from Tyler Clippard. He hit the first batter he faced and walked the second but it was his velocity, not his control, that was most concerning to pitching coach Steve McCatty and manager Davey Johnson. Mattheus is usually a mid-90s guy with his fastball and he was consistently at 90 mph Thursday night. That alarmed McCatty and they pulled Mattheus.
For his part, Mattheus said there was no pain and his shoulder felt completely normal, especially after having thrown Wednesday night as well.
“I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary there just wasn’t anything coming out,” Mattheus said. “Just like I told (McCatty), told the trainers, told the doctors, I don’t feel any pain. I don’t really know the answer.”
Mattheus has experienced a drop in velocity when he throws on back-to-back nights or on several occasions within a week but even he was concerned by the significant drop.
“It’s (usually) one or two clicks,” he said. “Tonight I was 89-90 and even to me I don’t really know why that’s happening.”
Last week, Mattheus pitched fine but was seen by right fielder Jayson Werth stretching his arm between innings. That prompted Werth to inform Johnson and McCatty and they did not allow Mattheus to continue. He said then that he felt the tightness was from some added weight lifting. That was not the case this time, but there was no pain or tightness either.
Mattheus will get a few days of rest and the Nationals will reevaluate him at that point.