ATLANTA - Given all the injuries they sustained last season, the sight of Ben Revere departing in the fourth inning on opening day after feeling a tug on his right side had to leave the Nationals and their fans holding their collective breath, fearing the worst.
The initial indication, though, is that Revere did not seriously injure himself, suffering what manager Dusty Baker and the leadoff man described as a mild strain of one of his right ribcage muscles that may only sideline him a couple of days.
"Take some medicine and hopefully get some good night's rest and a full day off," Revere said. "And hopefully it'll be better by Wednesday."
Revere said he actually suffered the injury on his very first swing of the season (a foul ball on Julio Teheran's 0-1 pitch in the top of the first), but he felt like he could remain in the game. He wound up striking out in that at-bat, then grounding out in the top of the third before mentioning to the club's training staff he wasn't 100 percent.
When the Nationals took the field for the bottom of the fourth, Michael A. Taylor took over in center field, while Revere headed toward the clubhouse.
"We think he's OK," Baker said. "We took him out for precaution because he did it on that swing. He aggravated his ribcage some. He's day-to-day, and we took him out as a precaution."
Opening day injuries are nothing new for the Nationals, who saw catcher Wilson Ramos break a bone in his hand during the first game of the 2014 season. Last year, they opened with three key members of their lineup on the disabled list (Denard Span, Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth) and wound up fielding their entire projected starting eight only twice the entire year.
Revere played at least 151 games each of the last two seasons with the Phillies and Blue Jays. Acquired by the Nationals over the winter to take over center field and leadoff duties following Span's departure to San Francisco, the 27-year-old tried to take solace in his team's dramatic, extra-inning victory despite his disappointing debut.
"It's frustrating," Revere said. "The first time it's happened to me. I hate being hurt. Something I was raised to (be like). My dad was like that, my brother. Something you gotta take precautions on and be out a couple days (rather) than be (out) a couple months or the whole year if it's serious. Take it one day at a time, and let this thing heal."