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Mike Morse available only in emergency, Jesse English cleared for use

Both utility player Mike Morse and reliever Jesse English suffered calf injuries on Wednesday, and neither seemed overly concerned before Thursday's game.

Morse walked into the clubhouse on Thursday afternoon and said he is sore but that he's not worried about it. He did not even want to consider a question about whether he would need a stint on the disabled list and said he's been walking on it fine.

"It just feels like a bruise, like a charley horse," said Morse, who left Wednesday's game.

He said he is day-to-day and needed to wait until he worked out to have a better understanding of whether he was good for Thursday's game. Manager Jim Riggleman will be cautious with Morse.

"He'd be playing today on an emergency basis," Riggleman said. "I'll try to stay away from using him. He can pinch hit. I really don't want him to hit and break out of the box and run hard. If we get in the situation where we're hitting for a pitcher, there's no one on base and two outs, and I don't want to burn one of the few extra men we have there, I'll put him up there to hit."

English was hit in the right calf with a line drive on Wednesday. The calf tightened after Wednesday's game and felt tight on Thursday morning, but he successful ran on the treadmill and on the elliptical before batting practice.

"Jesse's good to go," Riggleman said. "He can pitch today."

By Zach Berman  |  April 8, 2010; 5:14 PM ET
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Next: The Nationals' first win is a rare one


Way to go Willie! Needed that.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 8, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse
Reminds us of something, no...?

Posted by: jaumiusk | April 8, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

that was a big error

Posted by: nami322 | April 8, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

What's worse, starters who force you to go to your bullpen or relievers who make you wish you hadn't?

Posted by: baltova1 | April 8, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

i'm gonna go wiiith all of the above

Posted by: nami322 | April 8, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I saw a shot of Riggleman in the dugout and for some reason it made me think of all of the times we've criticized the managing of this team over the years.

How much strategy can you execute when you go to the bullpen, to two of your more reliable pitchers, and they go BB, BB, Sac bunt, HBP against the bottom four guys in the lineup?

Posted by: baltova1 | April 8, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

If only we had an outfielder like this:

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 8, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Last night, at least, Capps reminded me of McDougal without the heater.

Posted by: markfromark | April 8, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Got the W!

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 8, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

YES!! GO NATS!!! 1-2 isn't bad at all!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Bang, Zoom!

Posted by: BinM | April 8, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah! And I really like Capps--love the intensity!

Posted by: Section109 | April 8, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

WOOHOO U-S-A-!-U-S-A-! No 0-7 and 1 whole day without all the hometown fans saying how the Nats have it out for them personally! No series sweep! it may even turn out to be one of the first steps toward being mediocre. I know closers are supposed to have nerves of steel, but i don't, they're going to kill me one day.

Posted by: hdlowrider95 | April 8, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

After his spring training, I think that this save was absolutely HUGE for Capps and his confidence level.

HEY..we have the same record as Boston!

Posted by: TimDz | April 8, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Debbi Taylor: "Tyler - was it important for you all to win today?"

Posted by: AlexVa1 | April 8, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Critical points on the mound - Stammen = no walks tonight (Yea!); Clippard = Another solid outing; Bruney, Capps = Good enough to win; Brunett = "box of Chocolates".

Posted by: BinM | April 8, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

@AlexVa1: MASN's Debbi Taylor is a ditz; Part of my personal reasoning for not watching/listening to MASN broadcasts (Crapenter/Dribble 'on-field', Holliday/Knight 'in-studio') being the others. Give me Charlie & Dave, and I'm good.

I'm a radio snob, sosueme.

Posted by: BinM | April 8, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Hat's off to Willie Harris RF'er by default hit well and played good defense Phil's must be kicking themselves at the missed oppoutunities Capp's remind's me of the old O's closer Dan Stanhouse who used to keep former O's skipper Earl Weaver smoking two packs while he tried to get three out's, LMAO!.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 8, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I gotta agree with you guys... Debbi Taylor isn't so great. Didn't she also ask Guzman that same question? BinM, I like Carpenter and Dibble, I think they're pretty good but I also like the radio guys Jageler and Slowes.

TimDz: Great point! And we are only 1 game under 500!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Remember "Full Pack Stanhouse"?*
Capps gave a pretty good imitation tonight.

Earl Weaver's nickname for Don Stanhouse, the one-time reliever with the O's. Referred to the smokes Weaver said he had to go through when Stanhouse was on the mound in the ninth.

Posted by: JohnRDC | April 8, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Really nice win!! Totally agree about Debbie,Rob & Bob, they make it very difficult - if radio and tv were in synch it would be a no brainer. Did anyone else notice Guzman's crisp throws today. I realize he never walks etc etc but he played well today. Capps was fine, lots of strikes even though people hit him, he was around the plate the entire inning and this was a needed win. No 0-7 this year.

Posted by: sjm3091 | April 8, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Good comparison to Stanhouse. IIRC, 'Tippy' Martinez (w/the O's) could have fit that bill as well, as did 'the Chief', Chad Cordero in his three+ years with the Nationals.

The closer's role is always a tightrope - Very few pitchers have made it look consistently easy over a five year (or longer) stretch (M.Rivera, Sutter, Eckersley, Hoffmann, Gossage, Lee Smith, etc.).

Posted by: BinM | April 8, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Phew! Only 159 heart-attack-inducing games to go.... :-)

Interesting that within half an hour of the game's conclusion, it starts raining hard...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 8, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Any thought's on another bat(outfielder) we could use, Willie played well today as i stated in an earlier post but neither he nor Tavares(it only takes a minute girl)old r&b tune(sorry) is the long term answer Stammen didn't do badly against a potent Philly lineup but that misplayed line drive by Nyjer(UGGHH!!!) but you gotta love his attitude and we need to find Guz some at bat's because for all the hell he catch's on this blog he does come through.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 8, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I think we're going to have to start calling him Mad Capps....

Posted by: bromisky | April 8, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

also, my suggestion to Riggles...whiskey sours...

Posted by: bromisky | April 8, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

If the O's and Cubs hold on to their late leads, the Astros will be the only team with no wins. Glad we're not joining them!

Posted by: thepostischeap | April 8, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

On the same note, SF will be the only undefeated team. Most teams are 2-1 or 1-2, so we're right in it!

Also, a lot people thought Seattle had one of the best offseasons in MLB, but they're 1-3.

Posted by: thepostischeap | April 8, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it, this was a tough opening series draw. Philly is clearly a superior team, but you gotta appreciate how the team didn't quit. Lets be honest...most of us were expecting to be swept.

Capps can bring it, thats for sure.

On to NY, where I think we have a sporting chance for a series win.

Posted by: TimDz | April 8, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope you all can appreciate this.

I listened to the game on the way home from work, at home, and while I drove my son to a Cub Scout bowling outing. I had a blast, but I stopped listening to the game when they had blown the lead and the score was 5-5.

I go through this a lot. I go to work very early (as some of the long-time members of the Constituency know from my very early posts in the morning). I find myself going to bed when the outcome is still in doubt.

There is a certain delicious torture in waiting for the WTOP or ESPN update to find out whether the Nats won in the end. Given recent history, wins are even more precious under those circumstances. I still do not know how they won, but just that they did. I had to hold my hand in front of the computer screen so I could get to the bottom of the story and write this first, and then enjoy learning about it through Adam's reporting and your reaction.

We did not get swept. That is a great start to the story. I can't wait to see the rest.


Posted by: kevincostello | April 8, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I think it would help us all to remember all the really stupid mistakes that were made on the field last year in the first week or two. Try to remember all the games we really should have won, if not for something boneheaded.

Although we dropped the first two games (and dropped Opening Day ignominiously), this is a fundamentally different experience than last year.

I must say I was a bit shocked to see T. Plush misplay that ball in CF tonight. It mattered, since it led to a run. Nonetheless, I think things are going to be better this April than the past two years.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | April 8, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

+1/2St., great post. It reminded me of an old baseball story:

The Dodgers in the 60's had the great Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale on the mound, but very little offense. Their games were always low-scoring and close.

During one season, Drysdale was sent ahead to the next city while the rest of the team finished a series elsewhere, so he would be well-rested for his start.

He didn't catch that night's game while traveling and woke up to hear a radio report that Koufax had pitched a no-hitter. The announcer went through the details of the game, Koufax's past no-hitters, etc.

But Drysdale said he was still anxiously listening and finally found himself yelling at the radio, "Yeah, but did we win?"

Posted by: baltova1 | April 8, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Nats win!

I actually like Bob and Rob (not that I don't like C&D, because I do). I liked the Hammer commercial as well. Well played, Josh.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 8, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I got to drive 5 minutes from work to the $5 lot, get a $5 ticket, sit in the furthest corner of the stadium (where I had a view of the Capitol dome, and see many Phillies fans leave with their shoulders slumped. The only problem was the $8 beer. I noticed helmet sundaes have gone from $5 to $8. I'm at the would they rather sell me one beer for $8 or 2 for 13 or 14? I guess the demand for beer must be inelastic, to coin an Economics 101 term.

Posted by: p-man | April 8, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

This was a game that Gascanrahan would have vomited away last year. Way to go, Capps. And I loved the little fist-pump "attaboy" at the end.

I'm wayyyyyyy late with this, ladies and gents, but the bourbon and Maalox are on me tonight.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | April 8, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm at the would they rather sell me one beer for $8 or 2 for 13 or 14? I guess the demand for beer must be inelastic, to coin an Economics 101 term.
Posted by: p-man | April 8, 2010 10:43 PM


Exactly how MANY of those $8 beers did you have?

Posted by: TimDz | April 8, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know from economics, but I do know that if I eat too many helmet sundaes I will require additional elastic in my waistband. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 8, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Should have proofread my post; I only had one $8 beer, so my mistake was more due to having worked with many 1st-4th graders all day. Or maybe I'm just giddy with excitement over the Nats' win.

Posted by: p-man | April 8, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Well done, boys! Don't let all the ignorant negativity get you down. Go get 'em in NYC (now that we have a manager who won't sit on his butt while the umps screw us on hone run replays).

Posted by: thelonghaul | April 9, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

To p-man:
There are $5 Millers in the pre-game happy hour at the bar on the concourse behind the scoreboard. Forget the name just now, it's late. Cheers.

Posted by: gonats3 | April 9, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

+1/2St: Great post. It's always fun to fall asleep during the game and be pleasantly surprised in the morning.

Your post also reminds me of a quintissentially Washington story, of how on Election Day in 1916 Charles Evans Hughes went to bed thinking he'd won. When a reporter came to call the following morning, the butler said "the President-elect is still asleep." The reporter supposedly answered, "When he wakes up, tell him he's no longer president-elect." Woodrow Wilson had carried California by about 3,000 votes.

Some mornings are better than others.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 9, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

well, we know they won't go 0-162 this year. Actually, this is a very encouraging sign that they won this close game that they would have lost at the beginning of last year. I loved seeing TP start it off with a triple. We should be able to take 2 of 3 from the Mets now and be back to .500 by Sunday night. Or am I getting ahead of myself?

Posted by: twinbrook | April 9, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Can we start getting helmet sundays in blue helmets or maybe ones with the DC logo? I just would like to have more than a red Nats W..

Posted by: alex35332 | April 9, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I know! They could use the blue ones when the team is on the road and... What? Oh. Never mind. :-) Seriously, good idea.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 9, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

We should be able to take 2 of 3 from the Mets now and be back to .500 by Sunday night. Or am I getting ahead of myself?

Posted by: twinbrook | April 9, 2010 7:51 AM

You're getting ahead of yourself. One game at a time. I was encouraged by the win and not getting swept, yet again, by the Phoolies.

This team (thanks to the Lerner's) does not have the talent level to really compete. But, if they start to do the little things right like cutting way down on the walks and the errors and playing scrappy baseball they could surprise some folks with 70-72 wins.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 9, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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