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Nats' Gaudin happy to return to action

June 19, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

For baseball players, an assignment to Hagerstown isn’t usually greeted favorably. The Suns are a low Single-A team, so playing for the Suns is either a first stepping stone or a huge demotion if you are a major leaguer.

But for Chad Gaudin, getting the chance to pitch for the Suns on Sunday was a huge treat.

The Washington Nationals relief pitcher allowed two hits in a two-inning stint on Sunday during the Suns' 11-4 victory over Delmarva on Sunday. It was Gaudin's first live game action since being placed on the disabled list on April 26 with right shoulder inflammation.

“It felt real good,” said Gaudin, as he sat in the Suns' clubhouse with icepacks wrapped around his arm and shoulder. "I was able to get in two innings of throwing in the bullpen before going in and that was good."

The trip to Hagerstown came as a last-minute surprise to Gaudin, who was just scheduled for a workout session.

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"I was supposed to throw at (High A) Potomac, but they called me a 10 and told me to come down here to pitch in the game," Gaudin said. "I had to run over to get my stuff and drive here."

The Suns were notified at 11 a.m. of the plans for Gaudin. Gaudin arrived and got to borrow A.J. Cole's No. 44 blue jersey for the outing.

Gaudin began throwing in the fourth inning, with his catcher standing on the mound. He started by throwing at home plate and worked his way down the right-field line, lengthening his throws to about 120 feet to get ready to pitch.

"I needed to stretch out," he said. "I was straight out of the car."

Gaudin entered the game in the sixth and faced four hitters, allowing a one-out single to Michael Ohlman.

The seventh was another four batter stint, as Ty Kelly hit a one-out double. He retired the Shorebirds on three grounders and three fly balls.

The outing was a success.

"I felt good throwing as much as I did," Gaudin said. "It was the first time that I've thrown two innings in a while. It was the first time I have pitched and then sat and cooled down before going back out to start another inning. The shoulder felt good."

Gaudin was 1-1 with a 6.48 in 10 appearances for the Nationals before being placed on the DL. He was hit by a batted ball on April 6 against Florida during his third outing of the season, which was the start of the problems.

"I tried to pitch through it, but everything got inflamed and got real tight the more I tried to throw," he said.

Gaudin, a four-year veteran with his fourth team, is 6-15 in his career. He wasn't sure how long it will be before he rejoins the Nationals.

"I'm going to take two days off before throwing again," he said. "I don't know what the plan is, so we'll see what happens."

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