Murphy finding stroke, still terrorizing Cubs (Nats lead 1-0)

CHICAGO - Daniel Murphy has been terrorizing the Cubs since the 2015 National League Championship Series, and he’s been up to his old tricks this weekend at Wrigley Field.

Murphy, finally feeling healthy and confident in his swing after a long recovery from knee surgery, had seven hits in his first 10 at-bats of the Nationals’ series against the Cubs. That included a single down the left field line in the top of the second tonight, one that advanced Ryan Zimmerman from first to third and put him in position to score on Mark Reynolds’ sacrifice fly.

Murphy-Red-Pinch-Hit@-NYM-sidebar.jpgThough he didn’t make his season debut until mid-June, and though his swing remained a work in progress well into July, Murphy now looks like his old self at long last and has the results to show for it. His single tonight raised his season batting average to .313.

That early run for the Nationals gave them a 1-0 lead, and they still hold that lead at the midway point of the game. Though they haven’t been able to manage anything else against Cole Hamels tonight, they’ve benefited from Max Scherzer’s dominance.

The Nats ace struck out seven batters in his first three innings, and though he has allowed two singles along the way, he has not allowed any runner to so much as reach second base.

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