The Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that they had optioned right-hander Ryan Mattheus to Triple-A Syracuse and recalled right-hander Drew Storen from their top affiliate. Davey Johnson's comments last night hinted that a move might be coming.
"[Jordan Zimmermann] pitched great and [we] got some timely hitting," the 70-year-old skipper told reporters after the Nationals 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants, but it was only a one-run game because the Nats' bullpen struggled late and made what once was a 6-1 game a nailbiter.
"I've got to get some help in the bullpen," Johnson said, "I can't just keep going to [Tyler Clippard] and [Rafael Soriano]. We should have been able to put that away."
"We've just got to make better pitches," the Nationals' manager explained. Left-hander Ian Krol gave up a solo home run in the eighth that made it a 6-2 game, then Ryan Mattheus came on and gave up three straight hits, two singles and a two-run double by Pablo Sandoval that made it 6-4. "I understand Krol," Johnson said, "he's still feeling his way a little bit, but that's a pretty good-hitting ballclub over there and you've got to make pitches."
Johnson said he was worried about Mattheus when he brought him into the game. "I had a bad feeling when I brought Mattheus in," he told reporters, "I was thinking -- I told [Steve] McCatty, 'I'm going to have to get Clipp up, I've just got a bad feeling.' Well he said, 'Let's wait a hitter.' And BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. It was almost too late."
"He was better," the manager said after Mattheus struggled in the first game of the series with San Francisco as well, "except he gave up a couple little cheap hits and didn't come close on Sandoval and you've got to go right after them from the get."
In nine games and 6 2/3 IP since returning from the DL, the 29-year-old right-hander had a 9.45 ERA with opponents posting a .393/.514/.500 line. Storen, who was optioned to Triple-A in late July, had a 5.68 ERA in six appearances with the Syracuse Chiefs, but put together three scoreless outings in his last three trips to the mound. In 47 games and 42 1/3 IP before he was sent down, Storen, 26, had a 5.95 ERA and a 4.15 FIP with 13 walks (2.76 BB/9) and 43 Ks (9.14 K/9).
#Nationals today recall RHP Drew Storen from Triple-A Syracuse & option RHP Ryan Mattheus to Syracuse.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 15, 2013
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