The Nationals have lost both members of their battery to apparent injuries in the fourth inning.
Wilson Ramos came out after singling with two outs in the top of the fourth. Ross Detwiler also made his way down into the Nats’ clubhouse with a trainer by his side, his night done after just three innings of work.
I’ll start the injury-filled blog with notes on Ramos, who just cannot seem to catch a break.
After smoking the ball twice in two at-bats tonight, resulting in two hits, Ramos left the game. He ripped a single to left in the fourth but appeared to be moving gingerly from his first step out of the box and had trouble making it down the first base line.
Ramos was tended to by a trainer for a few seconds, but he was well aware he was in too much discomfort to stay in the game. He walked off the field, and MASN’s cameras showed him slamming his helmet into a trash can as he made his way down the tunnel to the Nationals’ clubhouse.
This was just Ramos’ eighth game back after landing on the DL with a left hamstring strain back in April. He, of course, missed most of last season after blowing out his right knee in May.
Kurt Suzuki came on to replace Ramos tonight.
Detwiler, meanwhile, appeared to be bothered by something in the third inning when he was late getting over to first base to cover the bag. He made his way through the rest of the inning, getting out of a bases-loaded jam unscathed when Ryan Zimmerman made a nice grab on a hot-shot line drive, but is now done for the night.
This is the second start in a row in which Detwiler appeared to be in some discomfort when trying to cover first base. He had the same issue in the seventh inning his last time out against the Cubs, a grimace coming across his face as he made the move over to first base, and left that game after 6 2/3 innings of work.
When I asked Detwiler after that game whether he was OK health-wise, he said he “felt fine.”
He and Ramos are now out of the game with the Nationals trailing the Dodgers 2-1 after four innings.
If you’re wondering about possible replacement starters, Chris Young is on the same rotation as Detwiler. Young pitched tonight for Triple-A Syracuse, but his numbers are not what Nats fans want to see.
Young allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings tonight and has a 7.96 ERA in five starts for Syracuse.
Craig Stammen has come on in relief of Detwiler and will take the Nats as far as he can tonight.
Adam LaRoche homered for the Nats in the top of the fourth, a solo shot that was ripped to center. It’s his fourth of the season and his first in his last 23 games.
Update: Your average baseball fan probably hasn’t heard of Stammen. But the right-handed reliever might be in the discussion for team MVP (behind Jordan Zimmermann and Bryce Harper) through the season’s first six weeks.
Stammen provided three scoreless innings tonight, keeping this game within reach and lowering his ERA to 2.25 in the process. He allowed just two hits, struck out three and has managed to turn what could’ve been a disaster into a manageable deficit with two innings remaining.
How many teams have a guy like Stammen in their ‘pen that can enter the game at any time and put up multiple scoreless frames? Probably not many.
It’s still 2-1 after seven innings. For all the nice work done by Stammen tonight, the Nats’ bats will need to wake up late in order to win this game.
Update II: The Nats had runners at the corners and no outs in the eighth, the tying run just 90 feet away with three cracks to bring him in.
Yet, it’s still a 2-1 Dodgers lead as we go to the bottom of the eighth.
The Nats are now 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position tonight, and they’ve left eight men on base.
Update III: The Dodgers got an insurance run in their half of the eighth, with Carl Crawford’s sac fly off Drew Storen plating Matt Kemp, and the Nats drop their second straight in L.A., this one by a score of 3-1.
For the series, the Nats were 3-for-25 with runners in scoring position. They’ve scored one run in their last 20 innings.
Now we wait for word on Detwiler and Ramos.