Morse heating up, lifting off

FLUSHING, N.Y. - Over the Nationals' last four games, Michael Morse has nearly torn the cover off two baseballs.

The first such incident came at Nationals Park on Friday, when Morse took a Tommy Hanson pitch and deposited it over the red seats in left-center and off a railing just short of the Red Porch, a spot 465 feet from home plate.

That ball was the longest home run in the history of Nats Park, according to HitTracker.

The second massive longball came last night, when Morse crushed a Pedro Beato fastball 426 feet out to center at Citi Field.

morse-red-behind-handshakes-dugout-sidebar.jpgThis Morse blast wasn't quite as impressive as the one against the Braves on Friday, but it showed that the outfielder's power stroke is starting to come around.

His approach at the plate recently isn't anything groundbreaking ("I'm just trying to hit the ball back up the middle and let it happen and not try to force anything," Morse said), but the results have been quite impressive.

Not only has Morse crushed two tape-measure homers in recent days, he's also seen his offensive numbers continue to steadily climb.

Entering tonight's game against the Mets and starter R.A. Dickey, Morse is batting .297 on the season. His .443 slugging percentage and .761 OPS are the highest they've been all year.

And over his last 10 games, Morse has been on a tear, hitting .381 with two homers and nine RBIs.

With Ian Desmond out of the middle of the Nationals' batting order for at least a couple weeks, Morse will be among those counted on to continue to bring some punch to the lineup. So far, so good.

By the way, while Bryce Harper's first-inning home run last night was struck well, HitTracker measured it at 410 feet, making it the third-shortest homer of the nine longballs Harper has registered this season.

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