No night off for Capps, Grabow


WASHINGTON — So much for getting a night off. Matt Capps and John Grabow both pitched Wednesday night against the Nats, as manager John Russell’s hand was forced by a tight game in the late innings.

Grabow faced two batters and needed just eight pitches to get out of the eighth inning and notch the win. Capps survived a scare — Josh Willingham’s fly ball to deeeeeep center field — to save the 2-1 victory.

That was fine with Capps, who practically has to be tied to the bullpen bench to be kept out of a game. The last thing he wanted was a night off.

“I really don’t like it,” Capps said. “Especially the way our bullpen’s been worked lately. I missed a week with (a sore) elbow and now having (Tyler Yates) down, I don’t like it at all.”

Capps and Grabow have struggled over the past couple of weeks, and have been trying to make mechanical tweaks before games. But it’s difficult for relievers to do much side work, because they often pitch on consecutive days and warm up frequently even in games in which they don’t pitch. Extra work can lead to extra soreness and injuries.

However, Capps said the adjustments he’s made with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan are paying off. “It felt good. I felt like I was letting the ball go good. Even the changeup that (Willie) Harris hit for a single was a pretty good pitch.”