Elbow keeps Morse out of Nats' lineup

Elbow keeps Morse out of Nats' lineup

Elbow keeps Morse out of Nats' lineup
WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Michael Morse was not in Friday night's lineup against the Phillies because of swelling in his left elbow. He is listed as day to day.

The elbow started to bother Morse after Washington's 3-1 victory over the Reds on Thursday night. Morse tried to convince manager Davey Johnson to let him play Friday, but the skipper declined. Morse was able to play catch before the game, but was not allowed to take batting practice.

"We are little bit worried that the [inflammation] will turn into tendinitis," Johnson said. "He tried to talk me into putting him into the lineup. I said, 'If we were fighting for a pennant, yeah.' But I have to be on the cautious side and be proactive, so I'm giving him the day off.

"The doctors think they can up his medication and stop the inflammation. It's right near the elbow joint. If you ever had a tennis elbow, you don't want that and try to hit a baseball."

Morse originally hurt the elbow on Aug. 11 after being hit by a pitch against the Cubs. He went to the hospital, and an examination showed that he had an elbow contusion. He missed only one game and returned to action.

In the top of the seventh inning with the score tied at 1, Morse was behind the count, 0-2, when Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster hit him on the elbow. Morse was in serious pain as he walked to first base before Johnson and assistant athletic trainer Mike McGowan came to his aid.

"I got hit in the elbow. They're taking proper precautions," Morse said. "It feels like it's been feeling. I guess it's better to take a day now than take a day later."

In Morse's absence, Laynce Nix will play first.