Short-handed Nats aim to keep rolling vs. Padres
SAN DIEGO -- The Washington Nationals will settle in for their Friday game with the San Diego Padres after absorbing yet another injury.
Washington reliever Ryan Madson landed on the disabled list before the Nationals beat the Padres 2-1 on Thursday. He is the latest key player to go down for the Nationals after Bryce Harper injured his left knee last week.
"Nobody really talks about it," manager Dusty Baker said of the Nationals' walking wounded. "I know it's corny, but it's next man up."
Washington, in addition to Harper, is without outfielders Jason Werth, Adam Eaton, Ryan Raburn and Brian Goodwin.
"We thought we were deep in the outfield," said Baker, who has used 13 outfielders this season. "Now I think they might call me back to play."
Plus, shortstop Trea Turner is absent.
"When you get your bench guys playing (every day), (it) makes your bench weaker than you're used to," Baker said. "But if you are here, you are here to play. I'm going to try and put you in a position to succeed, and everybody has had a hand in our success so far. Our confidence level is outstanding, and we are finding ways to win games."
Wilmer Dilfo has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games while filling in for Turner.
Howie Kendrick, who came over from the Philadelphia Phillies last month, hit two homers Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels after winning the Sunday game against the San Francisco Giants with a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning. He had a double Thursday in the series opener against the Padres.
"Our secondary guys have filled in admirably and probably done more than we expected," Baker said. "We haven't lost a whole bunch even without our regulars being with us.
"Whoever is coming up has performed well. And our veterans, guys that have been here awhile, have made them feel welcome, made them feel like they are an important part of the team -- which they are. All of them performed well."
Even with the big names off the marquee, the National League East-leading Nationals remain impressive.
"They still have Daniel Murphy in there, they still have (Anthony) Rendon, still have (Ryan) Zimmerman," Padres manager Andy Green said. "For some teams, that's as good as it gets.
"Now they usually have more length than that, but Difo has played well for them at shortstop, and Mike Taylor has played a good center field. They are really good -- and we're getting the teeth of their rotation."
Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.25 ERA) will take the mound for Washington on Friday. The Padres stared down the two-time Cy Young Award winner earlier this season, and Scherzer was dominant. He finished one out shy of a complete game, allowing a run on three hits and striking out 11.
Scherzer, who is 3-2 with a 2.34 ERA in nine lifetime starts against the Padres, has surrendered four runs over 14 innings in his past two starts when facing them.
San Diego will counter with Luis Perdomo (6-7, 4.95). He has gone at least six innings in his past five starts, although he lost Sunday when he allowed five runs and four hits over six innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He has split two decisions against the Nationals, amassing a 3.46 ERA in two starts.
"It comes down to pitching to both sides of the plate for him," Green said. "It's working the sinker into lefties and doing the same for righties. Location is big for him.
"When he starts to pitch in the outer lane and he intends for it to stay there, it needs to stay in the outer lane. I think one of his bigger problems is going outer lane and the pitch leaks back into the inner lane. Sometimes he gets away with it, but that can be the pitch that gets hit the most."