WASHINGTON -- Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner received a couple of stitches on the bridge of his nose after trying to catch a fly ball during batting practice at Nationals Park on Thursday afternoon.
Lerner, who is known to sometimes shag fly balls in full uniform, was blinded by the sun just as he was trying to catch the ball. It ended up hitting the frame of his glasses, cutting the bridge of his nose. Lerner immediately received medical attention. The injury is not considered serious.
Walker serves various roles for Nationals
WASHINGTON -- Reliever Tyler Walker does more than just pitch for the Nationals. He is also a big brother to the young players.
Walker, 34, has helped closer Matt Capps with his delivery and showed rookie reliever Drew Storen the ropes after the young righty's contract was purchased by the club Monday.
Walker said he learned how to help teammates by watching pitchers John Franco and Al Leiter when all three were with the Mets in 2002.
"It was a real veteran team with the Mets, and I couldn't get away with anything," Walker said. "They were all over me about everything. They wanted the next group of guys to have that [respect for the game].
"We are not going to play forever. I want the game to be in good hands when I leave. If I can influence the young players in any way, I want them to be the type of players who show up on time, play hard, give a good effort and be ready [for the game] and the next day. I don't have the answers. If I did, I would have more years in the league."
Walker had performed admirably in May, giving up three runs in 8 1/3 innings and striking out six before allowing two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in a 10-7 loss to the Mets on Thursday night.
"He has been outstanding," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He is a real positive guy. Tyler goes out there thinking every day is a gift. He is out there just really relishing pitching in the big leagues and acts like it's his first day.
"He is great with his teammates. He gives you a good effort on the mound. He is a guy who came into Spring Training not really in shape to pitch, but got in shape to pitch. He pitched a little better all the way through."
Livan praises Mets' Pagan
WASHINGTON -- Mets outfielder Angel Pagan had a great game on Wednesday, hitting an inside-the-park home run and starting a triple play.
Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez is not surprised by what he saw from Pagan. In fact, Hernandez went so far as to call Pagan a complete player.
"He can hit home runs, he is a good outfielder. He is a five-tool player," Hernandez said. "He can run, he can steal bases. He can hit for power. He plays the game the right way. He is a guy who I think can play every day."
Morse makes name request
WASHINGTON -- Through a team spokesman, Nationals outfielder/first baseman Mike Morse announced that he would like to be referred to as Michael Morse.
Morse said his family calls him Michael and his birth certificate indicates that his name is Michael.
"People call me Mike for short, but it feels good to see my name up on the scoreboard that says Michael," Morse said.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.