TORONTO -- Nationals starter John Patterson left Thursday's game against Toronto in the middle of an at-bat with fatigue in his right arm.
Patterson had a 1-1 count on Toronto right fielder Reed Johnson when he suddenly called time. After a conference at the mound with catcher Robert Fick, manager Frank Robinson and head athletic trainer Tim Abraham, Patterson left for the Washington dugout. Right-handed reliever Saul Rivera entered the game and induced Johnson to fly out to center field.
After the game, Patterson said he was suffering from a "dead arm," and he first felt the problem during pregame warmups.
"As the game went along, it got worse and worse," Patterson said after the game. "I started losing release points, and my arm just felt dead."
Patterson had been in the midst of rough outing against the Blue Jays. In three innings of work, he threw 73 pitches and allowed five runs on six hits.
The right-hander is now 1-2 on the season with a 4.41 ERA. Thursday's game was Patterson's second start since coming off the disabled list on June 23. The Washington ace had been sidelined with a right forearm strain since April 28.
"The reason I didn't want to come back early was to put pressure on the bullpen," Patterson said. "Tonight, that's what I did, so that's disappointing."
Mark Polishukis an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.