Nationals

Morris breaks Portis' Redskins rushing record

201212301954716926463-p2.jpeg

Morris breaks Portis' Redskins rushing record

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Washington Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris has broken Clinton Portis' franchise record for yards rushing in a season.

Morris reached 1,524 yards for the season with a 10-yard gain in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Portis gained 1,516 yards on the ground in 2005.

Morris was a sixth-round draft choice out of Florida Atlantic in this year's draft.

He entered the game Sunday needing 104 yards to top Portis' team mark. Morris topped 100 for the day with his second carry of the second half and was up to 111 yards two runs later. He had a 17-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Fans began chanting ``Alfred Morris!'' after he broke the record.

Quick Links

Nationals’ ridiculous three-game scoring pace unmatched in more than 20 years

Nationals’ ridiculous three-game scoring pace unmatched in more than 20 years

The Washington Nationals are on fire right now. Almost literally, as they have been ripping the baseball and breaking records as of late. 

On Monday they scored 13 runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a dominant shutout. Those 13 runs, paired with 16 runs scored against Milwaukee on Sunday and 14 on Saturday seem like a lot in a short period of time.

That's because they are. In fact, those 43 runs scored in a three-game stretch is a new franchise record for the club. 

That scoring pace is also the first time since 1996 that a National League team has scored 13 runs or more in three straight games.

A potency of runs is not just limited to the past three games. Over the past five games (two vs. Milwaukee on Thursday and 17 against the Reds on Wednesday), the club has scored 62 runs.

Sixty-two runs. That's 12.4 runs a game.

Also, it's a franchise record and the most in the MLB during such a span since the 2007 Yankees. 

If the Nats keep scoring runs at this unprecedented pace there will be no one able to stop them as they march to the postseason. 

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Joe Ross had a strong argument to remain in rotation before leg injury

Joe Ross had a strong argument to remain in rotation before leg injury

First the news: Joe Ross exited Monday’s start with one out in the fourth inning after a comebacker hit his right leg. Ross didn’t take any practice pitches before leaving. His conversation with Davey Martinez and trainer Paul Lessard was enough to get him off the field. 

The ball was hit 110 mph at Ross. The hardest of the night. It clanged off his leg before he threw to first. It’s also terrible timing and the only thing that has slowed him in August.

Why bad timing? Because either he or Erick Fedde is coming out of the rotation Thursday when Max Scherzer is activated. Ross has a clear case he should stay. Now, he’s hurt. To what extent is unclear. X-rays were negative, according to reports out of Pittsburgh. 

But, his August has been dominant. Not good. Or decent. Dominant. He’s thrown 21 ⅓ innings and allowed one earned run. That’s a 0.42 ERA. Monday, he was on his way to a fourth consecutive win while operating with an 11-0 lead.

The Nationals eventually won, 13-0. They have seven of eight, are five games out of first place and 12 games over .500.

What’s different for Ross? Multiple things. Ross is bringing his knee higher before delivering his pitches. He’s also altered his usage. In the three previous August starts, Ross threw 50% sinkers. The average velocity of those sinkers was 94 mph.

This is why Ross appeared to be a possible bullpen weapon. It’s an interesting arm for a manager to deploy, especially with runners on base. However, that failed, as did most of his post-Tommy John surgery starts.

Then August arrived. 

Fedde has pitched well, too. His three August starts led to a 3.18 ERA. Though, his strikeout-to-walk ratio hints he hasn’t been in command of those innings. His WHIP is also 1.53. Ross’ WHIP coming into Monday was 1.00. It hints at two things: who has the higher ceiling and who is on the better run.

Both have been crucial without Scherzer, who is finally locked in to pitch for the first time since July 25. Scherzer has made two starts since July 6. Yet, the Nationals are 23-14 in that span. He’s back on the mound Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Who shows up in Chicago is now the question. Ross was in line to start Saturday. Aníbal Sánchez - bumped to Friday by Scherzer’s return - is in a spot to open the series. Stephen Strasburg is set to close the series. 

Ross deserved the chance to keep going, a move which would likely flip Fedde into the bullpen and a veteran reliever -- possibly Javy Guerra, again -- out of it. Now it’s up to his leg cooperating by the weekend.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: