In order to avoid a sweep against the first-place New York Mets on Wednesday, the Nationals will have to do so with three regular starters out of their lineup.
Ryan Zimmerman is out for the second straight day with a left oblique strain. Michael Taylor is still bothered by his sore right knee. And Yunel Escobar has come down with a fever, one that he played with on Tuesday night.
Zimmerman's status is no different than it was the day before, when his new injury was first revealed by the Nationals. He is day-to-day for the moment while the team tries to gauge exactly how serious the problem is.
Taylor, though, may be going through more than we once thought. The center fielder was diagnosed with a right knee contusion on Aug. 27 after colliding with the wall in center field against the San Diego Padres. He has been in and out of the lineup, but has continued to aggravate the injury by playing.
"Michael's knee is really, really swollen. It's difficult for him to move today," manager Matt Williams said.
The Nats insist there is nothing wrong with the ligaments or bones in Taylor's right knee, but Williams did acknowledge there could be something involving a bursa sac.
"Everything is structurally okay. There's bursa in there. He banged into the wall really hard. It will go down a little bit, but then when he plays on it it blows back up. We've gotta try to get that swelling out of there. You run risk of doing something else to it as well," he explained.
Bryce Harper had a more serious injury to a bursa sac in his left knee during the 2013 season. It hampered him for much of the year and required surgery in the offseason.
Taylor's problem isn't quite that bad, the Nationals say.
"Nobody knows exactly what is causing it. The fact that it is swelling up tells us there's a lot of fluid in there, so we've gotta try to get it out," Williams said.
Taylor, 24, is batting .243 with 14 home runs, 61 RBI and 15 steals this season. His presence in the lineup has become quite important in recent weeks with the loss of Denard Span for the season.
Escobar had three hits in Tuesday night's loss, but apparently did so while dealing with a fever that reached 103 degrees. The 32-year-old infielder is batting .320 with nine homers and 46 RBI in 121 games this season.