Yesterday, during the Washington Nationals’ 2-1 victory in the first of a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs, outfielder Michael Morse was pulled from the game in the middle of the fourth inning. It was announced that Morse, who has been dealing with several nagging injuries since early August, was removed due to soreness in his right thumb.
It came as a surprise, then, when manager Davey Johnson told the media in a post-game interview that the reason Morse was removed was a precautionary one. Johnson had hoped to spare Morse discomfort in his right hand – a right hand that was hit by a Kyle Kendrick changeup on August 24.
“Where he got hit was acting up,” Johnson said. “I knew their pitcher was going to pound him in, and I didn’t want to aggravate it worse. He didn’t want to come out. I just said, ‘You’re coming out.’ I don’t need you aggravating it.”
It came as an even bigger surprise, then, when Morse spoke to the media and claimed he felt fine.
“No, my hand feels fine,” Morse said. “My hand feels good.”
The weekend was not kind to the Washington Nationals (77-50), who were swept in a three-game series by the Philadelphia Phillies and extended their losing streak to four games. That is the big story. The bigger story is Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg and his impending shutdown. After making 25 starts and tossing 145 1/3 innings, Strasburg is only expected to have a handful of remaining starts for the Nationals before he is shut down as part of his Tommy John surgery rehabilitation plan. One of those starts will come tonight when Strasburg and the Nationals begin a two-game series with the Miami Marlins (58-71) – a series that could prove to be a potential turning point in the Nationals’ season. Looking to keep the Nationals in the loss column will be Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Continue reading →
After dropping the first two of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies (60-67), the Washington Nationals (77-49) look to put an end to their first three-game skid since July 19-21. They will also be looking to avoid being swept for the fourth time this season and will do so without All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond and outfielder Michael Morse, both of whom are once again out of the lineup. If the Nationals hope to salvage this afternoon’s finale, they will need a strong showing from right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who will take the mound opposite Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. Continue reading →
The series opener at Citizens Bank Park last night between the Washington Nationals (77-48) and the Philadelphia Phillies (59-67) was anything but a high point in the season for the first-place Nationals. It did not take long before the team’s season-long theme of injury reared its head again, forcing outfielder Michael Morse out of the game after taking a Kyle Kendrick changeup to his right hand in the top of the first inning. Luckily for the Nationals, Morse’s X-rays came back negative. The injury, which came on the heels of hearing that All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond was scratched from the lineup, is not expected to keep Morse out of action for long. Tonight, they will look to get back in the win column after dropping back-to-back games to divisional rivals as they send Gio Gonzalez, who is tied for the major league lead in wins with three other players, to the mound to face off against two-time Cy Young award-winner Roy Halladay. Continue reading →
Michael Morse was forced from the lineup after taking a Kyle Kendrick changeup to his right hand. Photo: H. Rumph, Jr. / AP
After sustaining a strained lat muscle that sidelined Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Morse for the first 50 games of the season, the last thing he and the team were hoping for was another prolonged injury.
Luckily, after taking a Kyle Kendrick changeup to his right hand during the top of the first inning in last night’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies, the Nationals’ 2011 batting leader is not expected to miss significant time. Continue reading →