DENVER -- The Nationals were so sure they'd need extra pitching help in Colorado, they stowed a Triple-A reliever in Denver before the need even came up. Lefty Matt Grace flew from Syracuse to Colorado on Tuesday in time to watch the Nats' 15-12 win over the Rockies, which cost
DENVER -- The Nationals were so sure they'd need extra pitching help in Colorado, they stowed a Triple-A reliever in Denver before the need even came up. Lefty Matt Grace flew from Syracuse to Colorado on Tuesday in time to watch the Nats' 15-12 win over the Rockies, which cost reliever Koda Glover a trip to the 10-day disabled list with a left hip impingement.
"We knew we were going to need an arm here," manager Dusty Baker said. "[Grace] is a guy that throws general breaking balls down. We need Gracie."
The specific need came up after Glover pitched through discomfort in the seventh inning, allowing two runs on two hits.
"I think I landed wrong or something, a little pinch in the hip," Glover said Wednesday before the third of four games in Colorado. "The first pitch lit me up. After that, it was just kind of aggravating, but I think the cold weather had a lot to do with it. Be on the 10-day, and I'll be ready after that."
Glover -- the Nationals' No. 7 prospect -- picked up the first two saves of his career this past weekend against the Mets. The 24-year-old is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen this season. Glover is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA in 28 1/3 innings throughout his brief Major League career.
"We figure nip it in the bud now," Baker said. "We're going to need Koda for the long run. He's never pitched a potential seven months of the season. We'll just try to keep an eye on these things. The cold weather probably didn't help last night. He doesn't want to go on the DL, but we think it's best for him, and what's best for him is also what's best for us."
Glover appeared to have secured at least a share of the Nats' closer role before being placed on the DL. Veteran Shawn Kelley is likely to resume those duties after replacing former closer Blake Treinen a week ago.
"I'm extremely confident that after this I'll get a little rest, get a little breather, and I'll be back in there," Glover said, deflecting concerns that the impingement has anything to do with a hip injury from last season. "I haven't had any problems with my hips until last night. I wouldn't say it affected me [on the mound], but when you got a little impingement or a little pressure on the hip, it's going to cause some discomfort. Other than that, it was just a cold night, and I got a bad hip."
Grace has appeared in 31 games for Washington since 2015, going 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 20 innings. He's made three consecutive scoreless appearances for Syracuse and most recently pitched Sunday.
"I feel good with where I'm at," Grace said. "The sinker is going pretty well. I'll try to stick with that. I know when my sinker is going, it's down in the zone and I'm getting grounders at a high rate. That's what makes me effective, and that's what I have to stick to."
Grace has posted a 61.2 percent ground-ball rate in his Major League career without a home run allowed.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Wednesday. Oliver Macklin contributed to this report.