The Nationals' season has certainly not gone the way they or anybody would have expected on Opening Day. Washington has lost seven of its last 10 -- including its last three by a combined score of 23-5 -- to drop to 23-22, 3.5 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Those struggles were epitomized Monday when manager Davey Johnson revealed that reliever Ryan Mattheus broke his pitching hand punching a locker after allowing five runs in one inning Sunday during the Nationals' 13-4 loss to the Padres. Mattheus did not disclose his injury until Monday.
"[Sunday] after the game, he came in and was in the locker room and banged his glove against his locker with his hand in it," Johnson told reporters. "His hand didn't swell up but when he went out to throw today his hand swelled up and he couldn't throw the ball."
Mattheus' injury leaves Washington's bullpen in even more disarray as injuries have decimated the team's rotation; Monday, the Nationals used relievers Zach Duke and Craig Stammen to replace injured starter Ross Detwiler. In his first start since 2011, Duke allowed four runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Giants.
“I was pretty upset, and I let my emotions get the best of me,” Mattheus told reporters. “I hit my locker, and unfortunately I injured myself. It’s pretty embarrassing. It’s a tough one to swallow. I feel like I let the other 25 guys down on this team. I let the whole Washington Nationals organization down doing something stupid.”
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