9/15/2013 12:55 A.M. ET
Span extends hitting streak to 25 in first at-bat
By Tom Schad / MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- It took all of two pitches for Denard Span to extend his career-best hitting streak to 25 games Saturday night against the Phillies.
Span laced a single to center field in his first at-bat, then stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by left-hander Cole Hamels. Span scored on a sacrifice fly by Jayson Werth to put the Nationals ahead, 1-0. The Nationals' leadoff hitter finished 3-for-5 in a 5-4 loss.
"I was ready and I felt good with my cage work today," Span said. "So, I just took it to the game."
Entering Saturday, Span had lifted his season batting average from .258 to .280 during the streak, which has featured one four-hit game and five three-hit performances. His streak is the second-longest in the Major Leagues this season behind his former teammate in Minnesota, Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies, who had a 27-game streak.
Span also had a memorable game on the basepaths Saturday night. In addition to his steal in the first inning, he stole both second and third base after singling in the fifth inning. His three swipes Saturday marked a career high.
"I was definitely able to get some good jumps on [Hamels] when I got on base," Span said. "He's not that quick to the plate. Actually, he's pretty slow. I was able to get good jumps and steal some bases."
Barring setback, Strasburg to throw bullpen Monday
WASHINGTON -- After missing his scheduled start Friday night with right forearm tightness, Stephen Strasburg did not throw before Saturday's game against the Phillies. He will play catch Sunday and, barring any setbacks, throw a bullpen session on Monday, according to manager Davey Johnson.
Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty and the team's medical staff have told Johnson that Strasburg is unavailable to start before Thursday. To accommodate for the right-hander's absence, Johnson is planning to give Ross Ohlendorf another start Wednesday instead of starting Gio Gonzalez on short rest.
"I don't know how you could do it any other way. But it all depends," Johnson said. "I was hoping that [Strasburg] could go Wednesday and everybody's in line, but [McCatty and the medical staff] don't feel that's doable. So, we'll have to see how he goes this week. And then if he doesn't [feel ready], we could always put him in whenever."
Strasburg felt tightness in his forearm while he was experimenting with a new pitch last Thursday, according to Johnson. The injury is not believed to be to be serious.
Detwiler could pitch out of bullpen this season
WASHINGTON -- Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler threw a bullpen session before Saturday's game against the Phillies and manager Davey Johnson believes he has a chance to pitch again this season.
"I mean, there's time for him to still pitch out of the 'pen," Johnson said. "It just all depends on how all the steps along the way go, if there's any inconvenience in his back, or whatever."
Detwiler is on the 60-day disabled list with a herniated disc in his back, his second DL stint of the season.
Johnson said Detwiler will throw one more bullpen, likely on Tuesday, before facing live hitters. If all goes well, he will be available pitch out of the bullpen.
Detwiler has told Johnson that he does not want to pitch in a winter league after the season ends. Johnson said he would leave that decision up to pitching coach Steve McCatty and general manager Mike Rizzo.
"I think the sooner [Detwiler] can come back and pitch, the more he can get up and throw and see that he's going to get by this," Johnson said.
• With left-hander Cole Hamels on the mound Saturday, Johnson slid Bryce Harper to fifth in the batting order and gave Adam LaRoche a day off. Tyler Moore, a right-handed batter, started in LaRoche's place at first.
• The Nationals entered Saturday on a seven-game winning streak. During that streak, they have out-homered their opponents, 19-0.
Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.