As pumped up as Michael Morse was after his grand slam in the fourth inning tonight - and he was plenty pumped up - his teammates were just as animated.
Guys gave him high fives, low fives, pats on the helmet. They pushed him out of the dugout for a curtain call, tossed bubble game at him and messed with his hair. You can tell this group is thrilled to see the guy that clubbed 31 homers last season back producing the way he did in 2011.
“Morse is unbelievable,” Ian Desmond said. “Last year, I can remember in spring training they were trying to find a position for him. I don’t know if you guys remember that or not. But he was trying to make the team, basically. Comes out and has a huge year, then gets hurt. Then comes back and picks up right where he left off. It’s been a pretty good story for him so far.”
“It’s been a lot of fun watching Mikey the last couple years,” Jayson Werth said. “He’s kind of come into his own and become the player that he’s become. He’s awesome. I mean, come out early and watch BP. He’ll put on a show. He’s a great teammate and a great guy to have. A great teammate, period.”
If not for a scoring change by Major League Baseball which turned a Morse single into an error on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, Morse would have a 24-game hitting streak now. Instead, he’ll settled for a 13-game streak, during which he’s hitting .315 with four homers and 12 RBIs.
The Morse home run was the big blow in that fourth inning and gave the Nats their first lead of the game. But the three singles prior to the homer, line drives smoked back up the box by Werth, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, snapped Mets starter Johan Santana out of an early groove and set the table for Morse’s blast.
“He’s tough. Even at 89, he’s still a great pitcher,” Werth said of Santana. “It was evident that he mowed through our lineup the first time through. It was more just grinding out the at-bats and keeping your nose down and putting a good at-bat today. And we managed to get three hits right back up the box and Mikey hits a slam the other way. It’s just good hitting, really.”
For Desmond, tonight was his first game back from a torn oblique, and even though he went 0-for-4 in his return, he struck some pitches well and felt good getting back into the flow.
“After I got over the mental hurdle, pulling the trigger and realized nothing was bothering me, I felt good,” Desmond said. “I kind of went out and played after that.
“Obviously, sitting on the bench is not my forte. But I’m just happy to be back and thank god for getting me back out there as soon as he did. I’m feeling good. Just ready to get ready for tomorrow.”