Tag:Michael Morse
Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 1:10 pm
 

34th man candidates revealed

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Not only is Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen left off the National League roster, he's not even on the ballot for the 34th roster spot with online voting at MLB.com. Here are the five candidates from each league for the last spot on their respective All-Star squads.

American League

Alex Gordon, Royals

Adam Jones, Orioles

Paul Konerko, White Sox

Victor Martinez, Tigers

Ben Zobrist, Rays

National League

Michael Morse, Nationals

Shane Victorino, Phillies

Andre Ethier, Dodgers

Todd Helton, Rockies

Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks 

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Posted on: July 1, 2011 7:58 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Morse commits first error since 2005

By Matt Snyder

Michael Morse of the Nationals is one of the better stories of this 2011 baseball season and is probably headed to his first All-Star Game, but it's mostly because of his bat. He came into Friday hitting .300 with 15 homers, 46 RBI and a .900 OPS. He's not known for his defense, but he went an awful long time without making an error, that's for sure. Friday night, Morse made a throwing error from right field. It was his first major-league error in nearly six years. His last error was Aug. 15, 2005 (Mark Zuckerman via Twitter).

Granted, he hasn't been a full-time player and his range doesn't put him up there with the best defenders in the game, but that errorless streak spanned 212 games and five positions. That's pretty impressive.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: May 28, 2011 4:46 pm
 

Morse having banner May for Nats

By Matt Snyder

In case you didn't know who he was, Michael Morse has been announcing his presence with authority this. It all culminated Friday night, when he slammed a walk-off home run. It was the fourth straight game he'd homered and this one broke a five-game losing streak for the Nationals.

Things didn't look quite so promising as the month of April wound down. Morse was hitting .211 with just one home run, nine RBI and a dreadful .521 OPS. He'd hit into as many double plays (two) as he had collected extra base hits. He struck out more times (21) than he had gotten a hit (15).

Once the calendar turned, something clicked for Morse. He opened the month as a part-time player -- understandably so, after that April -- but slowly began to earn more at-bats. Even before the recent home-run streak, he was hitting .400 in the month with a .967 OPS. Once he got more locked in, the power came. Now, Morse sports a .414 average with five home runs, 11 RBI and a 1.191 OPS in just 47 May plate appearances. Apparently opposing teams haven't noticed he's swinging a hot, because he hasn't been walked -- and, yes, his aggression is part of the equation there, too, as he's never walked much.

Interestingly enough, the Adam LaRoche injury has actually helped the Nationals' offense, as Morse has slid to first base and Laynce Nix (.306/.333/.546) can play left field. With Morse, the Nats have a solid cleanup hitter behind Jayson Werth -- and eventually Ryan Zimmerman.

As the Nats look to compete in one of the most competitive divisions in baseball, bright spots like Morse help serve as a bridge to the time when the Strasburg, Zimmermann, Zimmerman, Storen, Harper nucleus makes them a major player. With the richest owner in baseball and in a major media market, it's coming, too.

Until then, things like Morse going for five straight games with home runs will have to suffice, which is what Nats fans got to watch Saturday afternoon.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2011 1:45 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Matsui says sayonara

Hideki Matsui

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3UP

Hideki Matsui, Athletics -- Matsui hit a sayonara home run (what the Japanese call the walk-off) off Texas' Darren Oliver to lead off the bottom of the 10th, giving Oakland a 5-4 victory and moving Oakland above .500 at 15-14. It was the 496th career homer for Matsui, combining his Japanese and American homers.

Mike Stanton, Marlins -- Stanton tied the game for the Marlins in the fifth inning with a solo shot and then scored the go-ahead run after leading off the eighth inning with a triple off Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs.

Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals -- Madison Bumgarner didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning, but Gorzelanny didn't give up a run in his eight innings. He allowed just three hits in the 2-0 Nationals victory. He improved to 4-0 in his career against the Giants.

3DOWN

Brandon McCarthy, Athletics -- The A's starter didn't allow any earned runs -- but he did give up four unearned runs because of two errors. So why's he on this list? Because he committed both errors. McCarthy misplayed bunts in the second and fifth, allowing the Rangers to score twice in each inning.

Miguel Tejada, Giants -- The Nationals' only two runs of the game in their 2-0 victory over the Giants came thanks to Tejada's seventh-inning error. With two outs in the inning, he let Wilson Ramos' grounder hit off his glove. Ian Desmond followed with a single, then Michael Morse hit a bleeder that made it to center and Jerry Hairston Jr. doubled in the final run.

Chris Sale, White Sox -- With two outs in the ninth and a comfortable 6-0 lead, Sale hit Nick Markakis and gave up a two-run homer to Derrek Lee, he then gave up a single to Vladimir Guerrero and walked Luke Scott before being lifted for closer Sergio Santos. Santos was able to strike out Adam Jones to end the team's six-game losing streak, but the bullpen has been such a concern, they would have liked to not have to use Santos in that situation.

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