WASHINGTON - Derrek Lee is 2-for-2 today, making him 7-for-7 in this series.
Felix Pie pinch-hit for Luke Scott in the fourth inning and singled to right field to move Lee to third base after a one-out double. No word yet on why Scott came out of the game.
Update: Scott left the game with mid-back spasms. He’s day-to-day.
Maybe Jeremy Guthrie is contagious.
Brian Matusz has allowed one run in three innings, on Ryan Zimmerman’s shot into the last row of seats in left field, and it’s a vast improvement over his previous outing, when he lasted 1 1/3 in the shortest non-injury start of his career.
Matusz gave up four runs and five hits, walked four batters and had four Tampa Bay runners steal off him. Questions intensified about his health and decreased velocity.
The Nationals have two hits and a walk to go with that run. Matusz has thrown 41 pitches, 27 for strikes. He threw 52 pitches, including 28 strikes, in 1 1/3 innings against the Rays.
Matusz struck out Ian Desmond on an 89 mph fastball. He’s mostly been 87-88 today. I’ve seen a few fastballs hit 89.
Bergesen was 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts with Triple-A Norfolk after going 1-6 with a 5.36 ERA in 10 games with the Orioles and being optioned on May 28.
“The main thing that they told me is they wanted me to get down there and the couple of things that they put emphasis on was limiting my pitch count per inning and working on my breaking stuff,” he said. “They said that my slider started to get a little too right to left as opposed to having more depth on it. They just wanted me to get a little more comfortable with the curveball. So those are the things that I went down and tried to work on. I tried to throw a few more sliders than usual.
“I guess you could say it was more valuable because in times past, they sent me down when I’ve been struggling and they want me to work on things, but there’s one time I only got one start in, or only a couple of starts in. This time, I was able to settle in and get some work in with (pitching coach) Mike Griffin and stay there a little bit.
“Getting down in that atmosphere is so much different. You feel a little more relaxed and you feel like you can work on those things. Here, it’s all about winning. You don’t feel like, ‘Ok, I’m going to work on this today.’ You go with what you have whether it’s good or bad. You just have to go with it.
“I feel like everybody in here is going to be angry when they get sent down whether it’s deserved or you don’t feel like it was. You always want to be there. There’s always that unhappiness or a little bit anger in you when you get sent down, but when it was done, it was done. I just set my sights on getting down there and getting my work in.”
Bergesen is available in relief today. He’s the leading candidate to start Tuesday if Jeremy Guthrie can’t pitch.