The disarray in the Nationals’ bullpen reached a bizarre and self-inflicted new height Monday night. After the Nationals’ 8-0 loss to the Giants, Manager Davey Johnson revealed that set-up man Ryan Mattheus had broken his right hand Sunday when he punched his locker after a dreadful performance, landing him on the disabled list and leaving the Nationals scrambling for fresh arms.
The Nationals used Zach Duke and Craig Stammen, their dual long relievers, in tandem Monday to replace injured starter Ross Detwiler. In order to restock their bullpen for Tuesday night, the Nationals sent down outfielder Eury Perez and called up lefty Fernando Abad and Cuban right-hander Yunesky Maya.
Late Monday night, Mattheus packed his things, his right hand swollen and purplish. He was headed to see a hand specialist in Washington to determine the severity of the break and how long he will be sidelined. Johnson said Mattheus would be out “a while” because he slammed metal with his throwing hand after he allowed the Padres to score five runs in an inning.
“I was pretty upset, and I let my emotions get the best of me,” Mattheus said. “I hit my locker, and unfortunately I injured myself. It’s pretty embarrassing. It’s a tough one to swallow. I feel like I let the other 25 guys down on this team. I let the whole Washington Nationals organization down doing something stupid.”
Mattheus, who has a 4.96 ERA in 16 1/3 innings, fractured the knuckle at the base of his ring finger. At first, he thought he had only bruised his hand. When he arrived at AT&T Park on Monday, he tried to play catch as his routine dictates.