All things considered, with the way things went last night, with starter Jeremy Guthrie unable to even get out of the first, things could have been worse.
Guthrie recorded just two outs before he was lifted from the outing against the Phillies in Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park and lefty Enny Romero wasn’t exactly sharp, but Joe Blanton threw three scoreless innings in the middle of the game, sparing Dusty Baker’s bullpen from a real long night in the City of Brotherly Love.
“Thank god for Joe Blanton,” Baker said after the 17-3 loss, “because he gave us three innings, he didn’t throw that many pitches for three innings and he saved our bullpen tonight.”
So, as we were saying, all things considered, it was the best-case scenario for that sort of brutal game.
“Oh, yeah, big-time,” Baker said. “Cause we didn’t know how we were going to fill the rest of those innings, you know, cause you’ve got to play eight here, when they’re the home team, and like I said, Joe Blanton saved my whole bullpen for today and tomorrow and then we’ve got a tough series coming up against the hard-hitting Cardinals. Things tend to snowball like that, in succession, but hopefully we ended it today.”
While Blanton saved the Nationals from a real nightmare scenario, Baker acknowledged that they would likely have to make a move to add an arm to the bullpen.
This morning the Nationals selected Matt Albers’ contract from Triple-A Syracuse and designated Guthrie for assignment.
Albers, a non-roster invitee this Spring, threw 11 2⁄3 scoreless for the Nats in Grapefruit League action and re-signed on a minor league deal and joined Triple-A Syracuse after he learned he wouldn’t be on the Opening Day roster.