Nationals hanging onto lead, but Coffey comes out

We’re at the seventh-inning stretch, and the Marlins have pulled within three runs of the Nationals, who will now have to use their top relievers (Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, most likely) to close this game out. And the Nationals had to go to Storen earlier than they would have liked because of what happened to Todd Coffey in the seventh.

The pitcher took a line drive off his right elbow from Emilio Bonifacio, the first batter he faced in the seventh inning, and came out of the game right after the shot. Bonifacio wound up with a single, and Coffey left with a nasty welt on his right elbow.

That meant the Nationals needed to use Clippard for the final batter of the seventh, and it seems likely they’ll ask him to come back out for the eighth. This had looked like a game they’d be able to get through without using their top bullpen arms, but it doesn’t seem like anything can ever come that easily for the Nationals. They lead 7-4 in the seventh.