Notes: Patterson still shaky

Notes: Patterson still shaky

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander John Patterson said he might not make his start against the Mets on Tuesday night because of the flu and sinus infection that he has had since Thursday.

Patterson was supposed to have a bullpen session on Saturday, but it was postponed due to his illness. Patterson said he has lost eight pounds since Thursday.

If Patterson can't pitch, the Nationals may have to go with a bullpen-by-committee like they did on Sunday.

"I've been pretty sick," Patterson said. "I haven't picked up a ball in two days. I'm going to try and play catch today. We have an off-day tomorrow. I don't think I'm going to pitch right now. I'm weak, and I've lost weight. I know we don't have any options. I don't know what I can do.

"I don't want to hurt the team or myself with the weight that I've lost. I have to get some energy and health back. Someone that is healthy can do better than I can."

Patterson woke up on Thursday morning with a sinus infection, and it ended up affecting him on the mound that night. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits against the Marlins. Patterson struck out four and walked three. He threw 105 pitches, 66 for strikes.

Manager Frank Robinson is not sure who will start if Patterson can't go. The Nationals don't have a fourth or fifth starter because of injuries to right-handers Tony Armas Jr. and Ryan Drese.

Not a happy man: After Sunday's devastating loss to the Braves, outfielder Jose Guillen said something that everybody already knew: The Nationals are not the same team that went 52-36 in the first half. Entering Monday's action, they are 21-35 since the All-Star break.

Asked if the attitude has changed, Guillen said, "Everything [has changed]. It has been a great year. A lot of times you really need that extra motivation to help your teammates. Lot of times, you see a lot of guys that don't really care, but what can you do? A lot of guys are tired. They probably want to go home."

Brad Wilkerson couldn't understand why Guillen took his complaint to the media instead of talking to his teammates.

"If people have problems with people not wanting to win, he needs to tell them and not send it through you guys," Wilkerson said. "That's the bottom line. We need to take care of it within our team."

Reviving unpleasant memories: In the eighth inning, Nick Johnson hit a hard grounder that smacked Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche on the right side of his face. The ball caromed out near the Braves' dugout, allowing Marlon Byrd and Wilkerson to score on the play. LaRoche ended up with a bruise.

Johnson can relate to LaRoche's pain. He was hurt on similar play on Aug. 20, 2004, when he sustained a fractured cheekbone when he was hit by Royce Clayton's one-hop smash. Johnson was placed on the disabled list the next day.

"I feel for LaRoche a lot," said Johnson. "You don't like to see anybody leave the game. Things like that happen. I hope he's all right."

Remembering the victims: The Nationals had a moment of silence for the victims who were killed in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

Kalya Walker and Leon Patterson threw out the first pitch before Sunday's game between the Nationals and Braves. Their fathers were killed by American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

Did you know? After the season comes to an end, catcher Keith Osik will become the head coach of the Farmingdale (N.Y.) Star University Rams. He was awarded the position on July 6. Five weeks later, he signed a Minor League contract with the Nationals. He was promoted to the Nationals on Sept. 5.

Stat of the day: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Nationals have won 67 consecutive games in which they have held a lead of four or more runs.

On deck: The Nationals travel to New York to play a three-game series against the Mets staring Tuesday night. The last time the two teams met was Aug. 19-21, with the Mets winning two out of three games. Patterson is tentatively scheduled to face the Mets for the fourth time this season, subject to his availability due to his illness. He is 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA against them.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.