Jul 26, 2013, 5:14 PM EST
|USA Today Sports Images|
Major-league clubs are allowed to add an extra, 26th man for doubleheaders, and the Nationals couldn’t have asked for better timing in that regard today, with Ryan Mattheus ready to return from a broken right hand.
Mattheus, on the 15-day disabled list since he broke that hand punching his locker May 19 in San Diego, was officially activated before the first game of today’s day-night doubleheader against the Mets. He’s available to pitch in both games, and manager Davey Johnson plans to use him if the situation arises.
“It was a long time off,” Mattheus said. “It’s tough to sit back and watch the games from that perspective. It’s just great to know that I can go out there and contribute today. So yeah, it’s an amazing feeling being back.”
The right-hander was understandably embarrassed by the nature of his injury, and he had to spend the last two months watching the Nationals struggle as penance for his mistake.
“The nature of my injury — knowing that it was self-inflicted — and then seeing the struggles that this team’s going through, it’s tough to deal with. But hopefully I’ll be back and contribute and we can turn this thing around.”
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