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Drew Storen was dealing with “excruciating” back pain during the NLDS

Feb 22, 2013, 8:05 PM EDT

Drew Storen AP

This is of little consolation to Nationals fans after the club lost in heartbreaking fashion during the NLDS against the Cardinals, but it turns out that Drew Storen wasn’t quite at 100 percent when the season came crashing down. In fact, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that Storen was pitching through “excruciating” back pain.

It might have been easy at some point during interview after interview he has done this winter and spring to let slip that he was having terrible back pain in Game 5, that he’d spend much of the final three days in the trainers room receiving treatment for back spasms others described as unbearable. Not him, though. Storen wouldn’t say a thing about it. Still won’t. Not really.

Storen merely said that he “wanted to be out there” and that he “grinded,” but Jayson Werth was a bit more forthcoming.

“He was having real bad back spasms. That was the third day (pitching) in a row,” teammate Jayson Werth said. “He was banged up, man. No one knew. For him to just have the balls to go out there, that says a lot about him.”

“I’m not blaming his injury,” Werth said. “He just wasn’t healthy.”

Werth said that “no one knew,” but if Storen was getting treatment during the series, I’m going to assume that manager Davey Johnson was aware of it. And that makes it all the more curious that Storen pitched in an 8-0 loss in Game 3 despite the distinct possibility that he could be needed in the next two games. Again, doesn’t matter much now, but it’s interesting to think about now that we have some added context.

  1. historiophiliac - Feb 22, 2013 at 8:15 PM


  2. thebadguyswon - Feb 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    “I’m not blaming his injury,” Werth said. “He just wasn’t healthy.”

    So, you are blaming his injury, then.

    Excuses are for losers.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      Right – the guy who hit the walkoff HR to win game 4 of the NLDS is a “loser.” OK.

      People who are confused by a direct statement like “I’m not blaming his injury, he just wasn’t healthy” and insist instead that it means the opposite of what was explicitly said are losers at understanding English. No excuse.

      • thebadguyswon - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        Its an excuse. If he wasn’t blaming his injury, why did he have to mention it?

        (hint: its because he’s blaming his injury)

        His best bet is to not talk about it. Why mention it five months later?

    • ptfu - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      Do not confuse an excuse with an explanation. An excuse tries to get someone off the hook for something–to say that they’re not responsible because of X. “The dog ate my homework, so it isn’t my fault I couldn’t turn it in. I don’t deserve to fail.”

      An explanation is an impartial description of what happened and why. You can describe what happened without avoiding responsibility. “The dog ate my homework, so I couldn’t turn it in. I did not meet my obligation and so I deserve whatever grade I get.”

      IMHO Werth is offering an explanation, not an excuse.

      Why is Werth talking about it now? Who knows? It’s Jayson Werth, he’s a weird dude.

  3. andreweac - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Sounds like he was injured. Sounds like a pretty rationale for his performance last October. How does being against facts make one a “loser”? I’m actually quite curious.

  4. Stiller43 - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Because he said “im not blaming the fact he wasnt healthy for us losing, but be wasnt healthy.”

    THATS the definition of an excuse.

  5. byjiminy - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    I think it makes a big difference whether you’re talking about your own injury, or someone else’s. If a guy refuses to use his own injury as an excuse, I can see wanting other people to know what he was going through, if he’s too proud to mention it. That seems more like support for a teammate. If the question was, why didn’t you win the world series, and Werth answered, well, people don’t know this but Storen was injured, otherwise we would have won, you could certainly call that an excuse. I don’t know the full context of the remarks, but it sounds like the reporter was going around specifically asking about the extent of Storen’s injury, because Storen wouldn’t tell him. If so, what’s wrong with giving an honest answer now? Last season is long gone. But Storen’s qualification’s as a closer are a hot topic, what with the signing of Soriano, which is the context of the discussion in Heyman’s article. (By the way: $28 million for two years???)

  6. Old Gator - Feb 23, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    I couldn’t care less about splitting Jayson Werth’s hairs. Hell, you’d be at it for weeks what with all those hairs.

    What seems more pertinent to me is, why was a near-crippled pitcher entrusted with the most critical game of their year if the manager knew what shape he was in, and/or if the manager didn’t know, what the hell was Storen’s excuse for not telling him? It’s not like there was nobody else in their bullpen.

  7. breastfedted - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Haha, OF COURSE he was in “excruciating pain”. Excuses, excuses. Stop trying to justify the excuses, Nats fans, you’ll start sounding like the Ryan Braun defenders.

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