Notes: Robinson has no regrets

Notes: Robinson has no regrets

SAN DIEGO -- Nationals manager Frank Robinson said he had no regrets about making all the pitching changes with a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Padres on Saturday. Robinson left himself open for second-guessing, when the Padres tied the score at 5 before going on to win the game, 8-5, in 12 innings.

"I have no regrets what I did, but if I had to it over again, I would do some things differently, but you can't do that. They are no do overs," Robinson said.

The biggest head-scratcher came in the ninth, when Robinson took right-hander Jason Bergmann out of the game in favor of Joey Eischen. Bergmann walked Eric Young to start the inning, but managed to get Ramon Hernandez for the first out. But with a 5-0 lead, Robinson was not comfortable having Bergmann facing the next batter, Brian Giles, a left-handed hitter.

"Why are you guys focusing on Bergmann? That's not the move [that cost us the game]," Robinson said. "I'm not going to give Giles a shot at Bergmann. That's why he came out of the ballgame. That five-run lead could be down to one or two in a hurry. You are in the ninth inning. You are not in the fifth or sixth inning. You need three outs to close the game out."

The Nationals could only get one more out before Kahlil Greene hit a grand slam off closer Chad Cordero to tie the game at 5.

"We had four hitters to get the one out, and we didn't get the one out."

Injury report: At first, according to Robinson, Tony Armas Jr. didn't like the idea that the Nationals were going to place him on the 60-day disabled list. Armas then decided to throw a bullpen session, but shut it down after 15 pitches because his shoulder was hurting.

Armas, who has shoulder irritation, may have surgery after the season. He most likely will not be in a Nationals uniform next season. He is a free agent, and it's highly unlikely the Nationals will offer him a contract.

Catcher Brian Schneider, who hasn't played since Tuesday because of a sore right shoulder, had a throwing session and hit off a batting tee without pain on Sunday. Schneider hopes to be starting against the Giants on Tuesday night.

Reliever Luis Ayala, who has a bone spur in his right elbow, threw a bullpen session on Saturday and was able to throw all of his pitches for 10 minutes. Ayala is hoping to have a simulated game at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium sometime this week.

Ayala hasn't played a game since Sept. 1.

Something new: The Nationals have never had batting practice before a day game until Sunday's contest at PETCO Park. Robinson said his team (24-26 in day games) has not been effective in day games. They are hitting just .246 with 33 home runs and 193 RBIs. On the mound, Washington has a 3.92 ERA.

Did you know? Gary Bennett is the only Nationals player to have five RBIs or more in a game this season. He had five RBIs against the Braves on June 2.

Stats of the day: Entering Sunday' action, the Nationals are hitting .306 (45-for 147) with runners in scoring position during the month of September.

On deck: After Sunday's game, the Nationals travel back to Washington to play a three-game series against the Giants starting on Tuesday night at RFK.

Livan Hernandez will get the start in Game 1. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.72 ERA in five career starts against the Giants.

In his last start, Hernandez pitched six-plus innings and gave up five runs on nine hits against the Mets. He struck out one batter and walked another. Hernandez didn't figure in the decision as the Nationals won the game, 6-5, in 10 innings.

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