Washburn cruised through six innings against the Rangers Monday night before feeling a twinge in his calf on the final pitch of the inning. After facing three batters and allowing three hits in the seventh inning, Washburn left the game and wasn't sure he'd be able to make his next start.
Although the calf isn't 100 percent, the left-hander was pleased with how it felt Tuesday afternoon.
"I was hoping for how good it feels today," he said. "I don't foresee missing a start."
Washburn suffered a strained calf at the end of the 2006 season and missed his final two starts of the year, but this time the injury is different.
"The last time I did it there was a big hole there you could stick your thumb in, and it was deep. This time it's the exact same spot, [but] the hole is a lot smaller, you can only stick your pinkie in it," Washburn explained. "So, [we're] hoping that it's just scar tissue that broke in that spot and that's what [trainer Rick Griffin] thinks it is. [It's the] best-case scenario."
Washburn may have made a mistake remaining in the game in the seventh inning, but it can be hard to get the Wisconsin native to leave the field, especially when he's allowed just one hit through six shutout innings of work.
"I'm hard-headed. I pitch through whatever," he said. "The trainers say they don't ever come out [to check on me] 'cause there's no bone sticking out, because they know I'd make them turn around. I like pitching, and I only get to do it once every five days, so I don't want to come out when I'm out there."
Although he doesn't expect to miss his turn in the rotation, the injury may force Washburn to alter his regular between-starts regimen.
"I don't know if I'll throw on the side," he said. "I might just skip that, not aggravate it, and give it a few extra days' rest without tweaking it."
Washburn earned the win Monday night to up his record to 2-4 with a 4.81 ERA in seven starts. The 33-year-old is in his fourth season with the Mariners and is 95-90 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 Major League seasons with the Angels and Mariners.
Chris Hester is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.