WASHINGTON -- After missing the first two months of the season with a strained right lat muscle, Michael Morse needed time to find his stroke at the plate. Morse rejoined the lineup on June 2 against the Braves and was hitless in his first eight at-bats.
But since a 2-for-5 day on June 5, Morse was hitting .275 in his last 40 at-bats entering Saturday. After notching a single and a double in four at-bats Friday night against the Yankees, Morse had a four-game hitting streak.
"It feels pretty good," Morse said. "It feels like I'm getting my timing a little better. The biggest adjustment is offspeed pitches and seeing pitches. The biggest thing you want to do is just try to hit the fastball, but now pitchers are in midseason form, they're throwing everything."
With Adam LaRoche out of the lineup for the second time in three games Saturday, Morse hit cleanup while Jordan Zimmermann took the mound for the Nats. Morse's comfort at the plate is critical, as Zimmermann had received only 3.42 runs per game of support -- less than only Chien-Ming Wang (2.67) in the Nats' rotation.