Thursday's 13-inning game with the New York Mets did a number on the Washington Nationals' bullpen. Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters after the walk-off win that his relievers were in bad shape heading into this weekend's three-game set with the Atlanta Braves, but stressed that it was important to win the series finale in the nation's capital.
"It's one of those games where you have to do it, you have try to win," Williams said.
"Eighth, ninth inning, you get your guys in there to get you back in the dugout to get another swing at it. And there were some chances there. But we just have to do it."
"It was important to win this game. So we'll have to deal with it going forward. But we have to just keep going. There's no choice but to play well if we're going to beat them."
The weather in Atlanta might give the Nationals' 'pen a break after Drew Storen, Jerry Blevins, Tyler Clippard, Rafael Soriano, Matt Thornton and Craig Stammen all took the mound yesterday.
They'll allegedly be playing ball here in about 4 hours: pic.twitter.com/EmDloeLT77— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) August 8, 2014
The Nationals, if they play, will not have Jayson Werth in the lineup tonight. Steven Souza, Jr. is listed as the starting right fielder. Williams talked after Wednesday's game about Werth being banged up and wondered if he would play the third game of three with the Mets.
"Jayson has got a little shoulder that's been bothering him a little bit," Williams told reporters. "Tonight he was a little tight in his neck, so rather than risk it in that game, we thought we'd get Steven in there. So we'll see how Jayson is tomorrow, but he's been a little tight for the last week or so."
The problem, Williams said, is with his right shoulder.
"It's from swinging," he explained. "He took a funky swing about a week ago and it's been lingering, it's nothing serious, but if we get a chance to get him out of there, we'll do that."
No word from Atlanta yet on whether it's the shoulder forcing Werth out of the lineup tonight.
Werth just needs a day, Williams says. Shoulder and ankle are sore, and Werth played all 13 innings yesterday. Doesn't seem serious.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) August 8, 2014
• Here's the Nationals' lineup for the series opener with the Braves:
Matt W.'s Lineup, Fri. @ ATL/G113: Span cf, Cabrera 2b, Rendon 3b, LaRoche 1b, Desmond ss, Harper lf, Ramos c, Souza Jr. rf, Strasburg rhp.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 8, 2014
• Here are the Nationals and Braves' lineups:
|WASHINGTON NATIONALS||ATLANTA BRAVES|
|Denard Span - CF||B.J. Upton - CF|
|Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B||Tommy La Stella - 2B|
|Anthony Rendon - 3B||Freddie Freeman - 1B|
|Adam LaRoche - 1B||Justin Upton - LF|
|Ian Desmond - SS||Jason Heyward - RF|
|Bryce Harper - LF||Evan Gattis - C|
|Wilson Ramos - C||Chris Johnson - 3B|
|Steve Souza - RF||Ramiro Pena - SS|
|Stephen Strasburg - RHP||Ervin Santana - RHP|