The good news for the Washington Nationals as they trickled into the clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon, was that Jayson Werth was able to test his right hamstring on Monday and felt strong.
With rain pounding the area for much of the day, however, Werth’s name was not in the Nationals’ lineup for their scheduled game against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
That game was postponed until Thursday at 4:05 p.m., though, so Werth and the rest of his teammates got an extra day off before they open their two-game series with the Tigers on Wednesday.
Both teams will keep their pitching on schedule, despite the postponement, with Jordan Zimmermann facing Anibal Sanchez on Wednesday and Dan Haren pitching against Doug Fister on Thursday afternoon.
Tickets for Tuesday’s game will be honored on Thursday but the Nationals said in a release that no refunds or exchanges would be issued for those with tickets for Tuesday who cannot make it on Thursday.
As for Werth, who missed the previous three games with a tight right hamstring after he was forced from Thursday night’s game with the issue, he was optimistic that he does not have a significant injury and the Nationals expect him back in the lineup shortly.
“I got a good word from JW,” said manager Davey Johnson. “He had his doctor put him through all kinds of tests, and his hamstring is not pulled. He feels pretty good about that. His hamstring feels pretty good. But I wouldn’t run him out there on this field so he’ll have to wait until (the next game).”
Johnson did allow that if the conditions on Wednesday are also wet, he may hold Werth out of the lineup again.
“I’m awfully cautious about putting a guy out there with a hamstring and re-injuring that hamstring,” Johnson said. “That’s bad. I want our doctor to look at him and say the same thing that his doctor said.
“If not for the weather, he would’ve (been in the lineup), even though his numbers aren’t that great against (Sanchez).”
That, of course, was one other factor that might’ve been working against Werth and his return to the lineup. In his career, Werth has faced Sanchez 31 times. He has just five hits (a .167 average). And while that includes two doubles, a homer and a walk, he’s also struck out in 19 of those appearances.
If he’s healthy enough, though, and the conditions cooperate, Werth will likely play on Wednesday even with Sanchez on the mound.
No fine or suspension for Harper
Bryce Harper and the Nationals were informed that the outfielder will not be fined or suspended for being ejected from Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
That news is the latest sign that Major League Baseball might feel umpire John Hirschbeck acted too hastily in ejecting Harper after he showed his disagreement over a check-swing call in the first inning.
“That’s Major League Baseball’s decision,” Harper said. “I respect that, definitely. If I was to get fined, I’d respect that, too.”
Harper, who joked that it was $1,000 staying in his pocket, said he had not heard from Hirschbeck since the incident.
“It’s in the past,” he said. “Just a little step to step over and start playing ball again.”
Harper was ruled to have swung for strike three by Hirschbeck, the third base umpire. Voicing his disagreement with the call, Harper threw his hands in the air. Hirschbeck then mimicked him, and ejected him from the game shortly thereafter. While the umpire cited Harper for “throwing” his bat and “slamming” his helmet, replays showed he did neither with much ferocity.
“I didn’t like that he put his hands up with the bat,” Hirschbeck told a pool reporter at the time. “That’s kind of what I yelled at him. He continued and threw his bat. I kind of pointed like ‘That’s equipment.’ And he still continued and slammed his helmet down. That’s when I ejected him.”
The league was said to be reviewing Hirschbeck’s actions in the ejection.