Washington Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty was doing OK late Sunday afternoon after being taken to a nearby hospital with atrial fibrillation just before the Nationals’ 1:35 p.m. game against the New York Mets.
McCatty, 59, was “doing a little walking” before Sunday’s 14-1 victory over the Mets when his blood pressure shot up and he felt his heart rate became irregular, according to manager Davey Johnson.
He was taken to the hospital, but not by ambulance, and Johnson was happy to report after the game that McCatty was doing “all right.”
“He’s his usual grumpy self,” Johnson said.
“I was hoping that grand slam would shock him right out of that atrial fibrillation. He’s not real happy, this messed up his plans.”
McCatty, who is from the Detroit area, had planned to travel home Sunday night and spend the Nationals’ off day there before they opened a two-game series against the Tigers. He will be required to stay overnight in the hospital, though, so Johnson expected McCatty would just join the team flight to Detroit on Monday evening instead.
“They’ll give him some medication, thin his blood, and something to slow his heart rate down,” said Johnson, who said he has previously dealt with the condition himself. “Hopefully he’ll come out of the irregular beat.”
McCatty was in the Nationals’ clubhouse on Sunday morning, talking and joking with players, coaches and reporters as he often is. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary.
But bullpen coach Jim Lett was with starter Taylor Jordan in the bullpen during his warm-up, a spot usually occupied by McCatty. The team announced shortly after the first pitch that McCatty was taken to the hospital and that they would update his status later.
Players enjoy joking with McCatty, a well-liked coach, and he has taken a ration of razzing this season since a photo of him in a 1970s issue of Playgirl was unearthed and plastered on T-shirts for the team to wear. That said, they were concerned about his well being, and relieved to hear he was doing OK.
“He was supposed to break hearts,” said left-hander Ross Detwiler, in reference to the aforementioned photo. “But not his own.”