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"We needed that"

May 28, 2011, 4:44 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Michael Morse is mobbed at the plate after hitting the game-winning homer.

At the end of a long night — after John Lannan had tossed 7 2/3 brilliant innings, after Drew Storen had blown his first save of the year, after a massive storm had disrupted the fourth inning, after Jerry Hairston had been ejected for complaining Padres starter Clayton Richard had quick-pitched, after Jayson Werth had tried to clarify his comments from earlier this week and suggested Teddy Roosevelt needs to win the Presidents’ Race, after Tom Gorzelanny had been placed on the DL with elbow inflammation and after Michael Morse had clubbed a walk-off homer and been greeted with a Gatorade shower — only one fact truly mattered.

The Nationals won Friday night, beating San Diego 2-1 to snap a five-game losing streak.

As Hairston put it: “We needed that.”

Boy, did they need that. Given all they’ve been going through lately, the Nationals simply needed to find a way to win this homestand opener against a Padres club that entered with the NL’s second-worst record.

That they did it in such dramatic fashion only sweetened the deal.

“Well, it doesn’t hurt,” Hairston said. “Hopefully it’ll be the start of something good. We feel we’ve got a good ballclub. Even with the
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  1. Grandstander - May 28, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    I said everything I needed to say in the other thread. But there's one thing I wanted to not be lost in this one. Morse has been absolutely brilliant in picking throws at first.His walk-off tonight will finally shut up the few doubters that remained, but his outstanding defense can't be overlooked. That reacher from Desmond was unbelievable!So, F LaRoche, we got a 1B, and he's our cleanup guy, until we find someone better!

  2. JayB - May 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    grand….Morse missed a low but very catchable ball last night that would have completed a key DP…..he is very mechanical right now….Adam LaR was the best 1B I have seen since Keith Hernandez…..but yes Morse will do fine and hitting is part of the game too…..Fun night at the park…good crowd and Lannan was great..that was the best he has pitched…..ever.

  3. JayB - May 28, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    On another note….anyone else notice that about 1/2 the team did NOT go out to Home Plate to greet Morse?

  4. Les in NC - May 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    I would like to add a note of praise for the lineup. Though they were only able to put 4 hits on the board, they also only struck out once (not counting Lannan's). I wish they could continue to strikeout with less frequency, that would be great.At any rate, a win is a win, and like Hairston said, they needed it pretty badly. And the fans did too.

  5. natscan reduxit - May 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    … this is sad news for all Expos and all baseball fans. [http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Carter+brain+tumour+cancerous+report/4854018/story.html]… for sure, Gary Carter – the Kid – was a legend in his own mind; no one believed in him more than he himself. But he truly was a superstar, and it is sad and discouraging to hear of this terrible diagnosis.

  6. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    "…anyone else notice that about 1/2 the team did NOT go out to Home Plate to greet Morse?"Please stop. Quit looking for things to complain about. It couldn't be because Morse hit the first pitch and might have caught some of the players in the clubhouse taking a leak or something. No. You have to strongly insinuate that there's some sinister reason only half the team came out onto the field.And the throw to Morse for the double play was late, all because Hairston had trouble getting the ball out of his glove.

  7. Big Cat - May 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    look at Werth's face in the picture. He is happy as hell. I'm glad we have Werth. Manassas, yes we should of pinch hit in the 7th and yes, what in the world was Desmond doing swinging at 3-0. That had to be on Riggs. We won despite Sad Man last night

  8. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I think I saw LaRoche in the celebration pile!

  9. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    JayB said… grand….Morse missed a low but very catchable ball last night that would have completed a key DP…..he is very mechanical right now….Adam LaR was the best 1B I have seen since Keith Hernandez…..but yes Morse will do fine and hitting is part of the game too…..Fun night at the park…good crowd and Lannan was great..that was the best he has pitched…..ever. May 28, 2011 6:25 AM Give Morse some time. He made 2 really nice plays last night.Speaking of Dunn-like play at 1st base. Did you all see the low-lights from the Mets/Phillies game last night. Just in the hilights you see Murphy at 1st miss 2 grounders at 1st that turned into a single and double. One was a smash but he wasn't close to it. After watching LaRoche, nothing got past him. Hairston and Cora threw trash his way and he scooped everything. Morse won't be LaRoche but will be much better than Dunn and Murphy with the Mets.

  10. fpcsteve - May 28, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Just thinking about the OF/1B situation. We could use a righthand bat there that is better than Bixler, right? If Nix and Ankiel are going to sit against lefthanders, and Morse is at first, we could use that kind of help. I'm not certain of this. Any other takes on the OF/1B situation? If you do, any suggestions? Hairston was there a few times but has been at 3B most of the time.

  11. Manassas Nats Fan - May 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Big Cat I never said punch hit for Lannon in the 7th. I was on the keep him in camp, and it almost paid dividends at the plate.. I said keep him in until they got a base runner (and Riggs kept him one extra runner), Go Teddy GO

  12. NatsJack in Florida - May 28, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Look everyone…. JayB cannot post unless he has some negative comment…. most of his POSITIVE comments come out negative. And there is ALWAYS some deep, sinister conspiracy surrounding the club. He's almost brilliant in imagining the negative and sinister in almost any situation.

  13. HHover - May 28, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    fpcsteveEven tho Cora bats LH, he still hits LHP better than Bixler (faint praise, I know), and so Cora at 3B and Hairston in LF would be a better line-up vs lefties than Hairston + Bixler. But I suppose Riggs feels he needs to get Bixler some playing time. Looking to the minors, there's no help immediately on the way in the OF. The Nats' best OF prospect above Potomac is Corey Brown, but he has a .200 average at Syracuse and is left handed, anyway. They could bring Marrero up for 1B and send Morse back to LF, but given Morse's hot bat and solid defense so far at 1B, I don't see that happening soon.

  14. fpcsteve - May 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Agreed, HHover. Too soon for Marrero to come up. I imagine him being at Syracuse until late in the season proving that he will be able to hit major league pitching consistently. It would be interesting in the medium run to think about trade possibilities. If Coffey stays hot, he might be the next reliever to fetch us a needed player (as in the Capps-Ramos trade). In the short run, your suggestion is the way to go I guess. When the Nats line up Bernadina, Nix, and Werth, that is a pretty decent outfield offensively and defensively.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 17.5
Through Wednesday's games
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