WASHINGTON — The circumstances were in place for a feel-good story, as Ashland High graduate Jeremey Guthrie pitched for the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
The Roseburg native turned 38 that day and he was making his first appearance in the Major Leagues since 2015.
But now his future with the Nationals is in doubt as the walls caved in at Philadelphia on Saturday.
The right-hander was only able to get two outs in the last of the first inning and by the time he was removed he had given up six hits, four walks and 10 runs to the Phillies in a game that Washington lost 17-3.
Guthrie threw 47 pitches and the only outs he recorded were on sacrifice flies. By the time lefty Enny Romero took over for him, Guthrie had an ERA of 135.00 on the season for the Nationals.
“I just feel like six weeks of really good results and really good feelings about the work I’ve done and the way I’ve fit on this club … it’s hard to think about it right now. It just kind of goes away in a moment,” Guthrie told reporters in Philadelphia.
Guthrie pitched in the minors at Triple-A El Paso and New Orleans last season and gave up 120 hits in less than 90 innings.
He pitched this past winter in Australia and then was signed by the Nationals on Feb. 3 to a minor league contract and was invited to spring training as a non-roster player.
Guthrie pitched well in spring training but did not make the Opening Day roster as a reliever. The Nationals placed him on the Triple-A roster to start the year, then called him up to start in Philadelphia.
A few hours after the disaster he was designated for assignment for the Nationals, his future with the club in doubt as Washington called up veteran right-hander Matt Albers. Guthrie was teammates with Albers in Baltimore from 2008-10.
“That is tough; you know he doesn’t want to do that (against the Phillies),” Albers said Monday of Guthrie, while in the Washington clubhouse before a game with St. Louis. “Sometimes that happens. Guthrie is a guy who has a great attitude and will bounce back. He had great stuff in spring training. I am sure he will bounce back because he has good stuff and a good attitude.”
“I always knew I was one pitch away. But that one pitch just never came for me,” Guthrie told reporters after the start in Philadelphia.
Most likely when the Nationals need a fifth starter again they will call on right-hander Joe Ross, who began the season at Triple-A Syracuse.
“It’s kind of like a nightmare inning,” Washington manager Dusty Baker told reporters after the start by Guthrie. “One after another, there were some real rockets hit tonight against us.”
Guthrie had last pitched in the majors for the Kansas City Royals in 2015, posting an ERA of 5.95 in 30 games, with 24 starts.
The former BYU and Stanford standout made his big league debut with the Cleveland Indians in 2004.
He pitched for the Baltimore Orioles from 2007-11 and later played for the Colorado Rockies in 2012 and with the Royals from 2012-15.
Guthrie was a career-best 15-12 in 33 starts for the Royals in 2013 and was 13-11 the following season. He was with the Royals when they won the World Series in 2015.
The Nationals bullpen had to go more than seven innings after Guthrie was knocked out.
Then the Nats lost in the last of the ninth Sunday as reliever Koda Glover game up a walk-off RBI single by Cesar Hernandez.
“We are still trying to figure it out,” Baker said Monday of his bullpen. “Right now the walks are killing us.”