PHILADELPHIA -- Though he's back in the Nationals lineup for tonight's series opener at Citizens Bank Park, Nationals left fielder Michael Morse continues to be plagued by a lingering hand injury, one that required a shot to reduce inflammation.
Morse received the shot Monday in Washington; he didn't start that afternoon against the Brewers, though he insisted he felt well enough to play.
"They gave him a full dose of everything to try to get him well," manager Davey Johnson said, adding: "It was for inflammation but sometimes they give you one that gets in your system and goes all over."
Asked for his level of confidence in Morse's hand, Johnson didn't sound optimistic.
"I'm not real confident in it," the manager said. "But the doctors tell me he can't really hurt it worse and he wants to play and I want him in there, so we'll see how it goes."
Barring any significant setback, Morse figures to remain in the Nationals' lineup every night until they clinch the NL East. That applies to the rest of the lineup as well, not to mention the Nationals' top relievers, who could be used as many consecutive nights as necessary.
"We win five games, and then I'll rest some guys," Johnson said.
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.