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The Mike Morse Power Surge

GMs lose their jobs for making too much out of September performances, so let's not make more than it's worth of Mike Morse's recent torrid stretch. Chances are, Morse won't bloom at age 27 into the next Adam Dunn. (Though it sure would be nice if Dunn, stuck on 38 HRs, could channel his inner Morse and crank two more.) And chances are, Morse will never yank away a starting corner outfield job with the Washington Nationals.

No matter.

Sometimes, it's just fun to watch a guy who's on the tear of a lifetime. If this was NBA Jam, Morse would be walking to the plate these days tailed by a plume of flames. He's homered in each of his last three games, and Monday, his sixth-inning opposite field solo shot lifted the Nats to a 2-1 win.

More incredible:

Here are Morse's career homer stats, split between his first 130 games and his three most recent.

May 31, 2005-Sept. 25, 2009: 324 ABs, 3 HR.

Sept. 26, 2009-Sept. 28, 2009: 12 ABs, 3 HR.

"It feels good," Morse said. "I try not to think about it. I'm just trying to put a good swing on the ball, and they happen to get some wind."

Now, some additional Nats news and reading...

Ross Detwiler finishes his season with his first big league win.

The Nats clinch the first overall pick in the 2010 draft. Mike Rizzo, Scott Boras: Enjoy the summer together.

Surprisingly, the final week of the season has delivered a few compelling playoff races. The Nats, so far, have played "anti-spoiler."

Beyond the Box Score breaks down Washington's 100-loss season.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 29, 2009; 8:36 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nats 2, Mets 1; Detwiler Gets First MLB Win
Next: Valentine: I'm 'Committed' to ESPN -- At Least For Now


Chico, one of your links is dead ("first overall pick in the 2010 draft").

Posted by: NatsNut | September 29, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

caveat emptor...bad teams tend to get seduced when mediocre or journeyman players produce above expectations in september.

Posted by: surly_w | September 29, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Sad to see the daily baseball beat coming to a close, not that losing 103+ was any fun, its just the idea that the game is played everyday and its always something to look forward to.

Now on to last night, amazing to see 18,600 show up for two teams that have a combined total of almost 200 L's. Gotta really love Ian Desmond at SS, this kid might be the real deal. Detwiller has potential, he has every chnace to compete in ST for one of the 5 spots. Mike Morse might not have a position to play but hey, who knows if Rizzo pulls something off this winter and maybe Willingham is dealt for a Tier I or II starting pitcher. Mets are in dire need of a power hitting left fielder, hey Omar how does Maine for Willingham and Mock sound?

DC sports media shame; so as the vocal locals (print and broadcast) continue to go into Zorn-watch overdrive, a 2-1 winning pitching performance, along with some stability up the middle in late September barely gets a notice. Here's the scene, what will they do in say 2011 when the Nats are playing meaningful games in Sept? We all ready know, the incest-laden B&G Spin-Machine will insist that its only a matter of time before Cower will have his team back atop the NFC East!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 29, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I was awesome at NBA Jam.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | September 29, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Well fellow posters my birthday is comming up saturday oct.3rd one of the great dates in baseball history which explains why I am such a fan of this game so.... do i stay home on Sunday and watch the Skins implode against the Buccaneers or do i go down to the TED(Turner Field) and watch the Nats dash the Braves playoff hopes,and by the way my late father birthday was the day after mine(Oct.4th) he took my twin brother and i to old Griffith stadium and then DC stadium(now RFK) we enjoyed many a game at those two old venues i remember a twilight night doubleheader against the Yankees where Chuck Cottier hit two homers in a game off Whitey Ford!! yeah i'm dating myself, anyway i'll have fun deciding.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 29, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Many happy returns, dargramps. My younger brother is also an Oct. 3 baby. He was born in 1962, the year of another memorable Dodgers-Giants playoffs with the good guys again winning the pennant.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 29, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Call be biased, but this is one of the greatest sentences in NJ history.


If this was NBA Jam, Morse would be walking to the plate these days tailed by a plume of flames.

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 29, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

No contest, dargregmag. You have a chance to watch your fave baseball team in person on your b'day! I've only been able to do that a few times since the Nats came to town (my b'day is a few days before yours). Carry a Nationals Journal shout-out sign so we can watch for you on tv. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 29, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and any of you Nats who are reading this better give us wins on our b'days...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 29, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Could somebody please explain the "NBA Jam" reference for us old folks?

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 29, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse


As you make your decision you should keep in mind that there's no reason to pay any attention to the minor sports like pro football until after the World Series. Considering the personal history you've described and particularly since there's a real chance the Bravos will still be in the playoff equation on Closing Day, I'll stand with natsfan1a to say you've gotta go to the TED.

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 29, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Wiggins:

Posted by: Section506 | September 29, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

NBA Jam was an arcade-style basketball video game. It was two-on-two with exaggerated moves. It spawned an NFL version (Blitz) and an NHL version (Hitz), but the closest thing you'll see to an MLB version is the current game "The Bigs."

In Jam, when one player scored three baskets in a row (without his teammate or anyone on the other team scoring), he'd literally catch fire. He'd have a trail of flames following him, and the ball would be a fiery orb whenever he released it. All shots were pretty much guaranteed to go in, and you could goaltend without punishment.

When playing against other people (not the CPU), the lone strategy is usually to avoid the other player from catching fire. It's brutal.


Could somebody please explain the "NBA Jam" reference for us old folks?

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 29, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you beat me to the question Mr. Wiggins. And I'm not even all that old.

Posted by: soundbloke | September 29, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Or what 506 said.

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 29, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I didn't get that one either. But maybe I'll get what the new post is saying.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 29, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Wiggins" -- sheesh, guys, I may be a graybeard but I'm not that much of a fogie! Why, I've even taught a thing or two to the bartenders at the Red Porch.

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 29, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

He has been showing pretty good power in the minors. His 'mistake' was going the steroid route along with 3/4 of the major leaguers ... His BA and slugging continue to go consistently up.

Chico, he may not be a "Dunn", but he certainly could potentially be a better Willingham making Josh potential trade bait?

Posted by: periculum | September 29, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I still like foosball.

Posted by: periculum | September 29, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't see proof he's better than Willingham yet. He may be. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though.

Posted by: Section506 | September 29, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse


He would have to hit as consistently as he did in AAA this year. Pretty impressive.

Some proof may lie in his impressive pinch hitting appearances? He has done that far better than Padilla and pretty much everyone else? His problem at the major league level appears to be with strikeouts.

Posted by: periculum | September 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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