Washington's Nationals beat the San Diego Padres to take two games of the three-game set in D.C., but Thursday's win was a costly one. Yunel Escobar got hit in the hand, forcing in a run in the fifth, then left the game before the top of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Michael Taylor tracked a long fly ball off Melvin Upton's bat to the wall in center and ran full-speed into the fence, injuring his right knee in the process in a brutal collision. Taylor was able to limp off, but not without an effort and some help. When Denard Span didn't come out to take over in center, anyone who's watched the Nationals this season should have seen what was coming.
Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked after the 4-2 win why Span didn't come on as a defensive replacement?
"The reasoning is that Denard had a setback," Williams said. Span was left out of the lineup when his bothersome back tightened up again, but the news after the game was even worse.
"He's had issues with his back again and he'll be placed on the DL with left hip inflammation," Williams told reporters.
"We'll have a corresponding move tomorrow, that's why he's not in the game."
Span returned from six weeks on the DL with lower back issues/back spams three days ago and he played in two games, going 2 for 9 with two doubles and a walk, but his back problems returned.
"It didn't react well at all after the two days," Williams said. "So we'll have to put him back on the disabled list and have a corresponding move tomorrow."
The second-year skipper was asked if Span was done for the year?
"Well, again, it's 15 days," he said, "so we have to make sure that we're mindful of him and his back and his hips and so it's unclear right now. I would imagine it's going to be very tough for him to get back."
Bad as the news on Span is for the Nationals, who are 36-25 with their leadoff man and center fielder in the lineup, and 28-37 without him, it could be compounded if Taylor's injury keeps him out of the lineup for an extended period.
"He ran into that wall hard, full-speed, as fast as he could go," Williams said.
"I don't know if you saw it on television. There's a big rip in the padding out there from his cleats, but it got him on the right knee pretty good. I don't know if he hit a stanchion or bar or whatever, but he didn't feel very good after."
"Yunel has a right hand contusion," Williams updated reporters. "Ball got him in the back of the right hand. Had some swelling. He's day-to-day, we'll see how he is tomorrow. [Taylor's] got a right knee contusion, ran pretty hard into the fence. So he's also day-to-day, and we'll see how he is tomorrow. X-rays on Yunel are negative, so we'll see how it reacts in the morning."
"I don't know if I've ever seen anything like it," Williams said when asked about all the injuries that have hit the Nationals this season.
"But it is what it is, so [Taylor] is playing hard, Yunel is playing hard. Denard when he was able to has played hard.
"There's not much you can do about it other than do what I tell you guys every day, we'll forget about this one and prepare for tomorrow."