Pitching coach Steve McCatty rejoins Nationals after hospitalization

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Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty returned to work yesterday after being hospitalized for three nights and missing a total of six days with an irregular heartbeat.

McCatty was taken to the hospital on July 28 after complaining of symptoms, but as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports he’s apparently feeling good enough now that everyone is comfortable cracking jokes:

McCatty half-jokingly threatened to hit a reporter with a bat for writing erroneously that he had suffered high blood pressure. … “He looks good,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s his old irritable self.”

As a curmudgeon myself I’m amused that one newspaper described him as “working his way though the clubhouse in his curmudgeonly ribald manner” and another newspaper described him as “his usual affable but curmudgeonly self.” He’s been the Nationals’ pitching coach since mid-2009.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.