7/31/2013 8:20 P.M. ET
Johnson remains confident in postseason chances
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Entering Wednesday's action, the Nationals were 10 games behind the Braves in the National League East and 6 1/2 games behind the Reds for the second NL Wild Card spot.
With two months left in the season, manager Davey Johnson is optimistic the Nationals can make a run at the postseason.
But time continues to dwindle for the team to get back in the race, and Wednesday's 11-1 loss to the Tigers didn't help.
"I think if we win series and put together some winning streak, like we are fully capable of doing, things will take care of itself," Johnson said. "I feel like we have to win over 90 games to get into [the postseason]. But we have to be consistently better all the way around in our game. If we do that … we'll be fine."
It was Johnson who proclaimed the 2013 season was "World Series or bust" during last year's Winter Meetings after the team signed right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year deal. But, as Johnson put it, it's looking like a bust. It hasn't helped that the offense has been sputtering all season and injuries have hampered the team. For example, Bryce Harper missed a month because of a left knee injury and Ross Detwiler has missed a lot of time because of back problems.
"We are not out of this thing. I like the way our schedule is racking up the rest of the way," Johnson said. "We can do similarly to what the Dodgers did. I like my talent here, too."
Johnson reiterated that he didn't expect the Nationals to make any deals before the non-waiver Trade Deadline at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
"You just don't tear up the talent pool and make a big change for the sake of making a change," Johnson said. "I don't regret saying World Series or bust. It looks more like bust. This is my last go-around anyway, but I want to do what's best for the organization. I want this organization to continue to be a first-division ballclub. The Lerner family has done that, [general manager Mike] Rizzo has done that. We are not holding our end of it on the field. … I am optimistic about this team."
McCatty to be released from hospital
DETROIT -- Pitching coach Steve McCatty is expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday, and he will rejoin the Nationals on Monday when they play the Braves at Nationals Park.
On Sunday, McCatty was transported to a D.C. hospital and was not present for the team's 14-1 victory over the Mets. After the game, manager Davey Johnson said McCatty was hospitalized with atrial fibrillation. McCatty, 59, had an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure before Sunday's game.
Johnson will continue to take care of pitching-coach duties on Wednesday, but they are looking at pitching coordinator Spin Williams or Triple-A Syracuse pitching coach Greg Booker to be the interim pitching coach against the Brewers this weekend.
Ohlendorf leaves game with tired arm
DETROIT -- Nationals right-hander Ross Ohlendorf left Wednesday's 11-1 loss to the Tigers because of a tired arm.
Ohlendorf came on in relief of starter Gio Gonzalez with one out in the fourth and the Nationals trailing 9-1.
Ohlendorf got Jhonny Peralta to fly out to center, but allowed an RBI single to Hernan Perez. With Ramon Santiago coming to the plate, manager Davey Johnson and athletic trainer Lee Kuntz went to the mound to check on Ohlendorf, who was replaced by right-hander Craig Stammen.
Johnson was concerned because Ohlendorf's fastball was clocked at 85 miles per hour. Ohlendorf simply wasn't ready to pitch. He needed another day of rest to make the arm stronger. Ohlendorf is often clocked in the low- to mid-90s. The last time he pitched was on Friday against the Mets, and he threw 114 pitches.
"I wasn't throwing very hard. Davey just decided to take me out. So I haven't quite recovered from the last start. I'm fine. The arm wasn't as fresh," Ohlendorf said.
Ohlendorf has been a pleasant surprise for the Nationals as a spot-starter and long reliever. In 10 games (two starts), Ohlendorf allowed seven runs in 34 innings (1.85 ERA). He pitched seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts against the Mets on Friday, but didn't get a decision in a 2-1 victory.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.