PHOENIX -- Michael Morse left the ballpark in Houston Thursday night with an 18-game hitting streak attached to his name. He arrived at the ballpark in Arizona Friday afternoon with that streak reduced to seven games, even though he hadn't picked up a bat or faced an opposing pitcher in the 18 hours between those two events.
How does that happen? Turns out Major League Baseball overruling the scoring of one of Morse's at-bats from the Nationals' Aug. 2 game, changing a single to an error on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
Thus, what was believed to be an 18-game hitting streak for Morse (the third-longest in Nationals history) has now been split into separate streaks of 10 and seven games, the latter of which will be on the line tonight against the Diamondbacks.
Not that Morse was crestfallen upon receiving the news.
"I didn't even know I had a hitting streak," he said.
That's pretty typical for Morse, who makes it a point not to pay attention to his stats, especially when things are going well. It's a lesson he says he learned in the minor leagues and has served him well since.
"A lot of times, you see a lot of guys looking at the scoreboard, looking at their numbers," he said. "Now you're looking at your numbers, you're pressing, especially if your numbers are dropping. You're swinging at the first pitch. You become a stat rat.
"I think in the minor leagues, I kind of did that for a few years, and I always caught myself. People say don't think about your stats, don't worry about your stats. So for me, I can't look at them. Because in the back of my head, I'll think: 'Oh man, I'm doing this, I'm doing this.'"
The decision to change the ruling on Morse's single from eight days ago came after the Phillies filed a formal appeal to MLB headquarters. Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, is believed to have made the reversal after watching replays of the play, during which Rollins had trouble corralling a hard-hit ball just to his left.
The statistical alterations as a result of the changed scoring: Rollins is charged with an error, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has an earned run taken away from him and Morse sees his batting average drop to .299 from .303.
"I told Mo: 'If I knew that, shoot, I wouldn't have kept playing you all this time," manager Davey Johnson joked.