- The Washington Times - Friday, September 16, 2005

NEW YORK — Washington Nationals catcher Brian Schneider missed his second straight game yesterday and is likely to miss at least three more because of a bad right shoulder.

Schneider, who believes he re-injured himself sometime late in Tuesday night’s game against the New York Mets, said he was feeling slightly better yesterday. But club officials don’t believe he will be ready to return to the lineup until the team returns to Washington next week.

“From the word I got from the athletic trainers this morning … he wouldn’t be of use to me until we get home,” manager Frank Robinson said.

The extended loss of Schneider, who leads all major league catchers in caught-stealing percentage (38 percent) for the third straight year, is costly for the Nationals. Backup Gary Bennett had two hits in Wednesday night’s win, but he’s not nearly the offensive or defensive threat that Schneider is.

“Obviously you want to be in there. This is the most important time of the year,” Schneider said. “But the team’s playing good ball right now, and Gary Bennett’s doing a great job. And obviously the team’s winning. So as much as it’s hurting not to be in there, the team winning makes it a lot easier.”

Schneider said he doesn’t expect to undergo an MRI and he hasn’t received a cortisone shot as he did earlier this year when battling the same ailment.

“I’m just going to wait it out, and hopefully it’ll get better soon,” he said. “I’ll take my medicine, get as much treatment as possible until it gets better.”

Guillen held out

One day after his upheaval of equipment following his ejection for arguing a called third strike, Jose Guillen was held out of the Nationals’ lineup.

Robinson, though, insisted it had nothing to do with Guillen’s fifth-inning tirade from the previous night, during which he littered the field with a helmet, four bats, a pair of batting gloves and a shin guard.

Rather, the manager said he was sitting the combustible right fielder because he’s battling a slight left hamstring strain, not to mention a 7-for-41 slump at the plate.

Guillen said he hurt himself running from first to third on Nick Johnson’s third-inning double Wednesday. Asked what he thinks his chances are of playing tonight in San Diego, he said, “50-50.”

Robinson did turn to Guillen to pinch-hit in the ninth inning yesterday. With a runner on third and one out, he was hit in the left elbow by Mets closer Braden Looper. He then gave way to pinch-runner Brandon Watson.

As for Guillen’s antics Wednesday night, the club is awaiting word from Major League Baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson about any punishments. Guillen is likely to be fined and suspended for a handful of games. That could prove costly for the Nationals down the stretch.

“You like to see your players a little bit more in control,” Robinson said. “Part of this game is your emotions are going to get to you. You’d like to see your players kind of control it to the point where they wouldn’t react that way.”

Patterson ready

Right-hander John Patterson declared himself ready to start tonight’s game in San Diego after missing his last scheduled appearance with a sinus infection.

Patterson hasn’t pitched since Sept. 8, when he was pounded for seven runs in 42/3 innings by the Florida Marlins. Afterward, he revealed he had been ill and spent the next two days mostly at home nursing himself back.

The Nationals had hoped Patterson would return Tuesday night against the Mets, but he still hadn’t fully recovered, which was met with some skepticism within the clubhouse.

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