Aug 25, 2012, 4:31 AM EDT
Associated Press photo
The Nationals lost Michael Morse from their lineup in the top of the first.
PHILADELPHIA — They absorbed a right jab, learning about 30 minutes before game time that Ian Desmond had been scratched with a mild hamstring strain. Then they took a left hook to the jaw … er, actually the right hand when Michael Morse was struck by a Kyle Kendrick pitch in the top of the first and walked off the field in obvious pain.
By night’s end, the outcome of the Nationals’ series opener in Philadelphia — a fairly nondescript, 4-2 loss — seemed less important than the status of their two injured regulars, two key players who have already spent considerable time on the disabled list this season.
“It was definitely a blow for us, but it’s kind of what we’ve been dealing with all year: Guys stepping up in different situations,” rookie Tyler Moore said. “Just another day. We’re hoping Mikey’s hand is fine [and that] Desi’s fine. We’ll see tomorrow.”
It doesn’t appear the Nationals will have either Morse or Desmond back in the lineup for Saturday night’s game at Citizens Bank Park, and manager Davey Johnson said Desmond probably will get the entire weekend off. But this club still was breathing a sigh of relief that neither injury is considered serious and both players should return in short order.
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