PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If Drew Storen was dealing with "unbearable" back pain during the ninth inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series last fall, his manager certainly wasn't aware of it.
"The only thing I recall is he didn't throw many strikes," Davey Johnson said today. "And I attributed it to him trying to be too fine. Gio [Gonzalez] had the same problem, was trying to be too fine, wasn't very pitch efficient. But I'm sure that's not the first time he's dealt with back spasms. I'm not worried about it. He's a great young pitcher."
The possibility of Storen being hampered by back spasms was raised last night in a report by CBSsports.com, which attributed the information to Jayson Werth.
"He was having real bad back spasms," Werth said in the article. "That was the third day (pitching) in a row. He was banged up, man. No one knew. For him to just have the balls to go out there, that says a lot about him."
Storen wouldn't confirm the injury, and Nationals officials downplayed the significance of it on the outcome of that winner-take-all playoff loss against the Cardinals.
"He hasn't said a word [this spring]," hasn't gotten any treatment," Johnson said.
It's not uncommon for players to play through injuries late in the season, especially October. Johnson suggested there were plenty of guys on his roster dealing with aches and pains at the time.
"I'd be surprised [if there weren't]," the manager said. "A lot of guys are used to having nagging injuries that time of year. I don't think anybody was overly tired. Again, I attribute [the series loss] to just a little inexperience in that situation, and sometimes you try to do too much. That comes with lack of experience."