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Davey downplays report of Storen back issue

Feb 23, 2013, 4:24 PM EDT

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Drew Storen had back spasms during the playoffs, according to CBSsports.com.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — If Drew Storen was dealing with “unbearable” back pain during the ninth inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series last fall, his manager certainly wasn’t aware of it.

“The only thing I recall is he didn’t throw many strikes,” Davey Johnson said today. “And I attributed it to him trying to be too fine. Gio [Gonzalez] had the same problem, was trying to be too fine, wasn’t very pitch efficient. But I’m sure that’s not the first time he’s dealt with back spasms. I’m not worried about it. He’s a great young pitcher.”

The possibility of Storen being hampered by back spasms was raised last night in a report by CBSsports.com, which attributed the information to Jayson Werth.

“He was having real bad back spasms,” Werth said in the article. “That was the third day (pitching) in a row. He was banged up, man. No one knew. For him to just have the balls to go out there, that says a lot about him.”
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  1. EmDash - Feb 23, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Davey's quote about Drew seems really overly harsh to me, but I guess we didn't hear the tone. I can't imagine he wasn't aware of the back spasms, either.With some thought, it occurred to me that this actually makes using Storen in game 3 make a lot more sense – it was a test, in a game they were going to lose anyway, to see if he could still pitch. If he'd gotten hammered, I'd think he would've gone to the DL. But he did well, so they figured it wouldn't hamper him.And in game 4, it didn't. In game 5…who knows. I'd imagine they had to weigh using Garcia-Clip in the 8th and 9th vs. Clip-Storen and decided the latter given Storen's previous performance, which I can understand. It didn't work out, but it was an understandable gamble even with the back pain issue. Throwing Drew under the bus a little bit, though, isn't a good look.

  2. Doc - Feb 23, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Using Stor 3, I repeat 3, games in a row was the 1st mistake. If he was suffering back spasms it was even more of a miscalculation.Use of a reliever has a lot to do with the other team seeing baseballs that they haven't seen much of before. Seems that the Cards were getting pretty familiar with Drew, bad back or otherwise!Garcia was there, but Davey wasn't!

  3. baseballswami - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I know we all think Davey is a top manager, but I grew up watching him and his arrogance can be a bit much at times. It will always bother me that he took zero responsibility for anything that happened. Zero. You can't tell me there was nothing he could have done . I don't like him throwing the guys under the bus without him climbing under it with them.

  4. EmDash - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I mean, I can see why he didn't go with Garcia, though? If inexperience was a concern, then a guy who has so little closing experience being put in at the biggest spot in the team's history – pretty risky, and might not have worked out well either, and then we'd all wonder what might have been if Storen was in there. But yeah, throwing the blame back on Storen – very off-putting.

  5. Section 222 - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Ah Game 5. We may still be discussing it a year from now. All I'm going to say is that Ryan "two pitches, three out" Mattheus was well rested in the bullpen. If Drew was actually suffering he shouldn't have pitched, or should have been lifted after those walks. If he didn't tell Davey, that's on him, not Davey. He keeps saying that he wouldn't have done anything differently, that he just got beat by good hitters. If that's what he needs to tell himself to get past the disappointment, that's fine with me. But Davey's analysis is more accurate.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Yeah, ok, Davey blew it. You guys that believe that are never going to change your minds. You'll never change mine either, as I think you are wrong. If Storen had either thrown one critical strike, or gotten one call from the ump, this conversation would never take place. And, Swami, get real about Johnson's arrogance. Every successful baseball manager I've ever seen has flashes of arrogance.Davey has less then many, and every player in that locker room would go to the mat for him.There are very few occupations that are more second guessed then a baseball manager.

  7. phil dunton - Feb 23, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    I take issue with what Werth said about Storen having balls. Any pitcher who hides an injury that makes him ineffective in an important game is deceitful and selfish.

  8. Gonat - Feb 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    If Storen didn't tell his coaches he had "back pain" severe enough to make him effective then it is on Storen. Davey's comment may have sounded harsh and arrogant but we didn't hear how he said it.I think he really wants to turn the page.

  9. PChuck - Feb 23, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Why is this a story? It's over. MOVE ON!

  10. sjm308 - Feb 23, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    How many more times will game 5 be revisited?Enough…. pleaseWe lost …. 2013 next up

  11. Section 222 - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    phildunton– It's rare I know, but I agree with you here. My first reaction to Werth's quote was: "Yeah, that says he was thinking of himself, not the team. He wanted to be the hero." If this is true, he deserved what happened. But his teammates and the fans didn't.

  12. EmDash - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    How was he hiding the injury, though? The story said that the team was providing treatment.

  13. Laddie Blah Blah - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    PChuck and SJM have got it right. It's over. Whatever happened, if anything, with Storen, should stay in the clubhouse. It's something Davey will deal with in his own way, if at all, regardless. Cole Kimball pitched for the Nats today, and looked really good. That made my day. The whole team is rusty, and looked like it. Micah Owings was the only guy to play all 9 innings. The Nats are going to give him his chance. I can see why. He sure doesn't swing the bat like a pitcher.

  14. SonnyG10 - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Micah may swing the bat pretty good, but he didn't look so hot at first base.

  15. Mac - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Storen did the exact right thing. He's the closer. This wasn't some random game in July, it was game 5 of a playoff series. Win or go home. All hands on deck. If you're hurting a bit but can still play, you chief it out. To not answer the call in a situation like that would have made Storen a prima donna of the first order. As it was, he came within a strike of getting that game. He was only an inch or so off. If he did that with a sore back, then Werth is right. He has balls. The kind of balls you want on a team.

  16. SonnyG10 - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Craig Stammen really looked good. Looked like he was in mid-season form.

  17. SonnyG10 - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Mac, Storen also came within a couple inches of getting the last out on that ground ball that just got past Desmond.

  18. baseballswami - Feb 23, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    I don't think this is a big, long term issue. I just think it is significant because it was Jayson Werth talking. He thought it was something we should know and he does not tell tales out of school for nothing. Obviously everyone knew because they were treating him, sounds like a lot. It sounds like Jayson respected Drew for sucking it up and giving everything he had. His respect should mend something to Drew. When. Werth talks , I usually want to hear what he has to say.

  19. baseballswami - Feb 23, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    * mean* something.

  20. John C. - Feb 24, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    *yawn*It's all about 2013 now. Focus!

  21. JayB - Feb 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Right, this is nothing….just gives backing to what some posters insisted was their view by watching the playoff and game 5. What does it matter that Nats missed a golden opportunity as baseballs best team to move out of the first round of the playoffs. What does it matter that that the facts keep pointing to the following problems in that series.Drew Storen was over used by Davey for not go reason.Drew Storen was selfish and should not have been on the mound.Davey was pig headed and refused to react to the obvious that after what 25 pitches by Drew and Nats still had the lead a change needed to be made.Davey and Rizzo were both were over confident and acting like this year did not matter. It was all house money and they were not going to manage the game or the roster to win in 2012.Yea….what problems could that solid winning approach lead to and why should we even think about it after we spend all winter shouting down a few useless trolls who raised these red flags. If we say it never happened and we refuse to talk about it then it never happened right?2013 is here and history never repeats itself especially if you close your eyes and shout it never even happened anyway!

  22. BigCat - Feb 24, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Move on. Its over

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