The Washington Times - August 11, 2013, 09:49PM

By the time the eighth inning rolled around Sunday evening, as Stephen Strasburg was putting the final touches on his masterpiece, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson and his star right fielder, Jayson Werth, were watching from the training room. 

“We were in sharing tables in there,” said Johnson. “I think he’s in worse shape than I am. He had more ice on him than I had heat on me.”


Johnson retreated after seven innings with excruciating back pain, similar to the kind he had in the final game of the 2012 season. Werth was sent there after banging up his right knee on a slide into home plate in the fifth.

Both expected they’d be fine after Monday’s off day. 

“Just kinda got caught underneath me on that slide home,” said Werth, who had his knee bandaged.

“Kind of stiffened up a little bit. Doctors looked at it. I didn’t think it was a big deal. But should be OK. Day off tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll know waking up in the morning. But I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

Johnson expected he’d have some sort of procedure on his back on Monday, perhaps an epidural, to alleviate the pain he’s been dealing with lately. 

“When Stras finished the seventh inning with (82) pitches or something, I said (to my coaches) ‘I’m going to go get a hot pack and take something for the pain,’” Johnson said. “‘If you guys mess this up, come and get me, I’ll come down.’”

Fortunately for the Nationals that wasn’t necessary as Strasburg easily finished off his command performance.

Werth, who stayed in the game immediately after the play at the plate in the Nationals’ three-run fifth but came out after the end of the sixth inning, said the entire play on which he was hurt surprised him. Werth had hardly had time to get up from his own slide when he turned to see Ian Desmond sliding in.

“The whole play was kinda startling, really,” he said. “It was kind of a dying quail in the infield there. I got a pretty good read on it. I turned and looked and saw the ball was coming home and I knew there was going to be a play.

“So I slide in and felt something with my knee. I kind of got up and saw the ball there and kind of heard the crowd’s reaction and turned and there was Desi sliding in. That was a pretty interesting play for sure. Glad it worked out.”