Bizarre sequence follows Morse's awarded slam

Bizarre sequence follows Morse's awarded slam

ST. LOUIS -- As the replay of his unusual trip every which way around the bases played on the clubhouse TV screens late Saturday night, Michael Morse wondered aloud if he'd be a clue on "Jeopardy!" someday.

The answer, one would imagine, would be something like this: This Nationals player was awarded a grand slam on an overturned replay after getting thrown out at first base, rounding the bases backward twice and taking a fake swing with the bases loaded, but without a bat in his hands, that sent him and three teammates trotting home for good.

And the question, of course, would be: Who is Michael Morse?

"That was something different. It was cool," Morse said following Washington's 6-4 win over St. Louis. "It felt like Spring Training or something. It felt like a drill."

Morse's first swing came on the first pitch he saw from Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse in the opening frame Saturday, swatting the ball off a sign just beyond the right-field fence and back onto the grass in right field. The hit was ruled a single. Ryan Zimmerman stopped at third, Adam LaRoche doubled back to second and Morse had to haul it back to first, getting tagged out as he slid.

The umpiring crew reviewed the play and overturned it, correctly ruling the hit a grand slam. But to make sure all the Nationals runners touched every base and didn't pass each other, the umps sent Morse back to home plate and reset the situation. Morse chose to get there by running backward around the bases yet again.

"I guess I didn't have to do that," he admitted, "but if I didn't do it and they were like, 'No! You're out!' I would never sleep again."

At that point, Washington's dugout erupted with laughter, motioning for him to take a swing, even without a bat in his hands. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina told Morse to swing, too, so Morse felt like he had no choice.

"Everybody's telling me to swing. I'm like, 'No, I'm not going to swing.' Yadi was like, 'Swing.' I was like, 'All right!'" Morse said. "So I swung, and it was pretty cool."

So Morse took his second grand slam swing, this one without a bat in his hands, and took off running around the bases. There was only slightly less confusion this time -- along with some laughter and a round of boos from the Busch Stadium crowd as Morse jogged toward home plate following one of the more bizarre sequences of the season.

"That'll be on the highlights," manager Davey Johnson joked.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.