Results tagged ‘ Michael Morse ’

What to Watch For: 8/11

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Washington Nationals (70-43) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (57-56)

RHP Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.56) vs. LHP Wade Miley (12-7, 2.85)

Michael Morse homered for the third time in two days and Ryan Zimmerman went deep as well as the Nationals continued their flawless road trip with a 9-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Stephen Strasburg allowed a single hit over six innings of work in earning his 13th win of the season. Edwin Jackson takes the hill tonight against impressive rookie Wade Miley looking to extend Washington’s winning ways.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth CF

2. Espinosa SS

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore LF

7. Flores C

8. Lombardozzi 2B

9. Jackson RHP

7TH HEAVEN

Thanks in part to a season-high seven straight wins, the Nationals are a season-best 27 games above .500. The ‘33 AL Nationals (99-53) were the last big league club representing the Nation’s Capital to climb as many as 27 games above the break-even mark.

NIFTY 50

In Friday’s 9-1 win at Chase Field, Stephen Strasburg secured the 50th win by a Nationals starting pitcher in 2012. The starting staff of the inaugural-campaign 2005 Nationals currently holds the mark for most wins (52) in single season.

SMOOTH ROAD

At 38-21 (.644), Washington owns the best road winning percentage in MLB, and the Nationals have won 17 of their last 22 road contests. Washington is 12-4-2 in road series play in 2012.

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What to Watch For: 8/9

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Washington Nationals (68-43) vs. Houston Astros (36-76)

RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 2.45) vs. RHP Lucas Harrell (9-7, 3.98)

The Nationals leaned on Gio Gonzalez – who hit his first Major League home run and finished his first nine-inning complete game – to take their third straight one-run win over the Astros in Houston. Washington will send Jordan Zimmermann to the hill in search of a four-game sweep and its sixth consecutive victory overall.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Bernadina CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

SO LONG, SPACE CITY 

Tonight’s tilt will be the last time the Nationals and Astros will meet as NL brethren, as Houston will join the AL West beginning in 2013. Since baseball returned to The District in 2005, the Nationals lead the series 29-26 heading into tonight’s matchup.

J-ZIMM: ROAD WARRIOR

Jordan Zimmermann will make his fourth career start against the Houston Astros tonight, a club against which he has yet to record a victory. The Cubs, Dodgers and Pirates join the Astros as National League clubs that have never been defeated by Jordan. Zimmermann, who is 6-3 with a 2.03 ERA (16 ER/71.0 IP) away from Nationals Park, has allowed one earned run or less in eight of his 11 road starts this season.

MICHAEL MORSE(L) 

Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 17 straight games, going 23-for-73 (.315) with four doubles, three homers, 11 RBI, two walks and nine runs. Morse’s team season-high 17-game run is the longest current hitting streak in MLB, as Miami’s Jose Reyes saw his 26-game streak come to an end today in New York. The last National to register a hit streak of this length or longer was Ryan Zimmerman, who posted a 19-gamer from July 22-Aug. 11, 2011.

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What to Watch For: 8/8

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Washington Nationals (67-43) vs. Houston Astros (36-75)

LHP Gio Gonzalez (13-6, 3.34) vs. RHP Armando Galarraga (0-1, 5.23)

The Nationals and Astros played their second consecutive extra-inning game, and for the second time, Washington came away a winner. Michael Morse’s leadoff double in the 12th extended his hit streak to 16 games and led to the winning run, and Roger Bernadina’s highlight-reel catch saved the day in a 3-2 final.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Suzuki C

9. Gonzalez LHP

BERNADINA SHARKS VICTORY FROM JAWS OF DEFEAT

Danny Espinosa homered and provided all three RBI required for Washington to edge Houston, 3-2, on Tuesday in 12 innings at Minute Maid Park. With the potential tying and winning runs on base and two outs in the bottom of the 12th, Bernadina dashed over 125 feet to make a jumping catch at the wall, denying Brett Wallace’s bid for a game-winning double. By improving to 10-6 in extra-inning contests (5-1 since the All-Star break), Washington jumped a season-high 24 games above .500. With 11- and 12-inning victories here at Minute Maid Park the last two nights, the Nationals have won consecutive road games in extra innings for the first time since October 3-4, 2009 at Atlanta (6-4 in 11 innings, 2-1 in 15 innings).

IZTURIS MAKES DEBUT

Last night, Cesar Izturis became the 40th National to appear in a game this year when he pinch ran for Morse after he doubled in the 12th inning. Izturis would come around to score the eventual game-winning run on Espinosa’s RBI-single. Acquired via waiver claim from the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, Izturis is hitting .235 with 2 HR and 11 RBI so far in 2012.

GIO VS. HOUSTON

Tonight, Gio Gonzalez will take to the hill for the first time at Minute Maid Park. He faced the Astros for the first time of his career in his third start as a National on April 17 in D.C. In Washington’s 1-0 win, Gio worked 7.0 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits. In his last outing, Gonzalez matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts without a walk in 8.0 innings against Miami on August 3.

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What to Watch For: 8/7

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Washington Nationals (66-43) vs. Houston Astros (36-74)

LHP Ross Detwiler (6-4, 3.02) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (2-8, 5.95)

After Houston erased a 4-1 deficit to tie the game in the ninth on Monday night, the Nationals scored a run on a bizarre play that included two errors to win the series opener, 5-4 in 11 frames. Washington will look to Ross Detwiler in the second meeting of the series, as it hopes to extend its three-game winning streak.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Bernadina CF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Flores C

9. Detwiler LHP

LIVING SINGLE

In Monday’s 5-4 victory in 11 innings, each of the Nationals 14 hits were singles. Before Monday, the Nationals (2005-present) had never posted more than 11 hits, of which all were singles, in the same game. The Nationals posted at least one extra-base hit in each of the season’s first 85 games, the longest such streak in MLB to begin 2012, however, they have failed to do so seven times in 24 contests since. In addition to Mon.’s 14-single attack, the Nationals posted 10 singles and zero extra-base hits on Sunday vs. Miami. Thus, the Nationals are the first big league club to post at least 24 hits in a two-game span, all of which were singles, since 2000, when the Royals turned the trick September 28 (12, vs. Detroit) and 29 (14, at Chicago AL).

BE LIKE MIKE

Including a 2-for-5 effort last night, Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 15 straight games. During the streak, Morse is 21-for-63 (.333) with two doubles, three homers and 11 RBI. Morse’s team season-high 15-game run is the second-longest current hitting streak in the NL (Miami’s Jose Reyes is riding a 24-game streak). The last National to register a hit streak of this length or longer was Ryan Zimmerman, who posted a 19-gamer from July 22-August 11, 2011.

THE NATIONAL DET

Ross Detwiler looks to collect his third win in his last four starts tonight in Houston. In each of those wins, Detwiler tossed 7.0 innings, allowing a combined one earned run on 10 hits along the way. Despite his 6-4 record, Ross is without a win in his last six road starts. He has faced the Astros just once in his career, collecting the victory while allowing two runs on seven hits in 6.0 strong innings on 9/23/10 in D.C.

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What to Watch For: 8/6

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Washington Nationals (65-43) vs. Houston Astros (36-73)

RHP Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.57) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-4, 5.77)

The Nationals took three-of-four from the Astros when the teams met in D.C. in April, and will look to continue their winning ways after doing the same to Miami this past weekend. Led by the red hot Adam LaRoche – who has gone 23-for-52 (.442) with four walks, seven home runs, 10 runs scored and 16 RBI in his last 14 games – Washington has won four of five and 12 of its last 16, holding a 3.0-game lead over the Atlanta Braves entering play Monday night.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa SS

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth RF

7. Suzuki C

8. Lombo 2B

9. Jackson RHP

EDWIN IN SPACE CITY

Edwin Jackson looks to get Washington’s three-city, 10-game roadtrip off to a good start tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston.  Jackson has earned at least one win in 21 Major League ballparks, but Minute Maid is not one of them. He sports a 4.55 ERA in six career games (five starts) against the Astros. When pitching against Houston, his team is 5-1. Jackson last faced the Astros on April 19 in D.C. and took the loss in an 11-4 setback.

NATS HURLERS DON’T DIG THE LONGBALL

Nationals pitchers are currently riding a string of 49.0 consecutive innings in which they have not allowed a home run. Washington last allowed a long ball when Jimmy Rollins and Nate Schierholtz hit homers in consecutive at-bats in the fifth inning on Wednesday at Nationals Park. Washington’s streak of not allowing a homer in five straight games also matches a season high set twice previously: April 16-20 and April 10-14. Last season, from September 5-16, Steve McCatty’s pitchers strung together an 11-game homerless streak.

MICHAEL MORSE(L) 

Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 14 straight games, going 19-for-58 (.328) with two walks, three doubles, three homers, nine runs scored and 10 RBI. Morse’s team season-high 14-game run is the second-longest current hitting streak in the National League (Miami’s Jose Reyes is riding a 24-game streak). The last National to register a hit streak of this length or longer was Ryan Zimmerman, who posted a 19-gamer from July 22-August 11, 2011.

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What to Watch for: 8/5

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Miami Marlins (49-59) vs. Washington Nationals (64-43)

RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-10, 4.90) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (11-5, 3.12)

The Nationals rallied from two runs down with a six-run, two-out rally in the eighth inning to take a 10-7 victory and a 2-1 series lead over the Marlins going into Sunday’s finale. Washington starter Stephen Strasburg – who is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in starts following those in which he has given up four or more runs – is coming off his worst start of the year, in which he yielded six tallies.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Flores C

9. Strasburg RHP

DEEP SIX

Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to cap a six-run uprising in Washington’s 10-7, comeback victory over Miami on Saturday night at Nationals Park. The six runs matched the club’s season high for a single inning, matching the total scored in the 10th inning of the Nationals 8-2 win over the Mets at Citi Field on July 23, just 12 days earlier. 

STREAKS AND BOMBS

Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 13 straight games, going 18-for-54 (.333) with two walks, three doubles, three homers, nine runs scored and 10 RBI. Morse’s 13-game run is the second-longest current hitting streak in the National League (Miami’s Jose Reyes is riding a 23-game hitting streak). Morse is currently tied with Steve Lombardozzi, who recorded a 13-gamer from June 29-July 20, for the longest hit streak posted by a National this season.

Adam LaRoche leads all MLB first baggers with 23 homers (Albert Pujols ranks second with 22). Among Nationals (2005-present), LaRoche’s 23 home runs are already tied for third with Nick Johnson (2006) on the single-season list among left-handed hitters. Adam Dunn occupies the top two spots on that list, as he hit 38 long balls in both 2009 and ‘10.

ONE FOR THE ROAD

Following today’s series finale, the Nationals embark on a three-city, ten-game roadtrip that includes visits to Space City (Houston, four games), The Valley of the Sun (Phoenix, three) and the City by the Bay (San Francisco, three). At 33-21 (.611), Washington owns the best road winning percentage in MLB (Atlanta 2nd: .600). The Nationals have won eight of 11, twelve of 17, and nineteen of their last 27 road contests. Washington is 11-4-2 in series play on the road this season.

 

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What to Watch for: 8/4

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Miami Marlins (49-58) vs. Washington Nationals (63-43)

LHP Mark Buerhle (9-10, 3.60) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 2.28)

The Nationals and Marlins opened a four-game, three-day set by splitting a pair of games in a doubleheader on Friday. Miami’s win in the night cap gave them a 6-5 season edge over Washington, making them the only team in the NL East with a winning record against the first-place Nats, who are 27-17 overall within the division this year.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa SS

2. Harper RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth CF

7. Suzuki C

8. Lombardozzi 2B

9. Zimmermann RHP

SPLITSVILLE

Washington split a twinbill (W, 7-4/L, 2-5) with the Marlins yesterday at Nationals Park. The Nationals earned a split for the fourth consecutive doubleheader, dating to last season. In 18 innings of baseball – which spanned exactly six hours – the two clubs sent 153 batters to the plate who saw a total of 574 pitches and each club scored nine runs on the day.

MICHAEL MORSE(L)

Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 12 straight games, going 17-for-49 (.347) with three doubles, three homers, nine RBI, two walks and nine runs scored. Morse’s 12-game run is the second-longest current hitting streak in the NL (Miami’s Jose Reyes is riding a 22-game hitting streak). With a hit tonight, Morse would match Steve Lombardozzi, who recorded a 13-gamer from June 29-July 20, for the longest hit streak posted by a National this season.

VIEW FROM THE TOP

The Nationals’ .594 winning percentage ranks second in Major League Baseball (Cincinnati, .613) and currently renders a 2.0-game lead over the Braves in the NL East standings. The Nationals have either led the NL East or shared the top spot for 106 of the season’s 116 days. Only the Rangers (113) have enjoyed more days atop of their division this season.

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What to Watch for: 8/2

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Philadelphia Phillies (47-57) vs. Washington Nationals (61-42)

LHP Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.31) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (5-4, 3.24)

The Nationals will look to beat Cole Hamels for the first time this season as they send Ross Detwiler to the hill in a battle of southpaws. Both pitchers are 1-1 in three starts since the All-Star break, but Detwiler’s 2.41 ERA (5 ER/18.2 IP) is more than a run and a half lower than Hamels’ 3.92 mark (9 ER/20.2 IP) in that span.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa SS

2. Harper RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth CF

7. Leon C

8. Lombardozzi 2B

9. Detwiler LHP

HIT STREAK HYSTERIA

Michael Morse has hit safely in 10 straight games, going 14-for-41 (.341) with two doubles, three home runs, nine RBI, two walks and eight runs scored. With a hit tonight, Morse would match the longest hitting streak of his career (11 games, May 22-June 2, 2011). Adam LaRoche, meanwhile, is riding a nine-game hitting streak.

WERTH THE WAIT

Prior to the game, outfielder Jayson Werth was reinstated and activated from the 60-day Disabled List. He returns to face Hamels and the Phillies in D.C., the same opposing pitcher, opponent and location of the game in which he sustained his injury (broken left wrist) back on May 6.

POWER PLANT

Despite Morse, Werth, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos missing significant time due to injuries, the Nationals have hit 113 homers in 103 games or 1.1 long balls per contest…in seven previous years in D.C., only once has Washington hit more than 1.0 home run per game: in ‘06 the Nationals blasted 164 long balls in 162 games (1.01 per game).

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What to Watch for: 7/31

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Philadelphia Phillies (45-57) vs. Washington Nationals (61-40)

LHP Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.95) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (11-4, 2.76)

The Nationals are coming off their only off-day in a 34-day span following a road trip that saw them go 6-1 in New York and Milwaukee. They will take their MLB-best 61-40 record against a Phillies team that has just traded outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence and sits 16.5 games behind entering play on Tuesday.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper RF

3. Espinosa SS

4. Morse LF

5. Moore 1B

6. DeRosa 3B

7. Flores C

8. Bernadina CF

9. Strasburg RHP

AND ON THE 7TH DAY …

Michael Morse hit a game-tying, two-run homer in the ninth and laced a game-winning, two-run double in the 11th to lift the Nationals to a stunning 11-10 victory over the Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park. Washington won for the eighth time in nine games despite trailing 3-1, 5-2, 7-3 and 9-7. The Nationals equaled their largest deficit (four runs) overcome to win (also: July 5 vs. Giants: down 5-1, W 6-5) this year.

THE WEEK’S DOCKET

The Nationals begin a key seven-game, six-day, homestand tonight with the first of three against the Phillies. From there, the Marlins invade for a four-game weekend set that includes a traditional 4:05pm twinbill on Friday, necessitated by an April 22 postponement.

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP 

Stephen Strasburg (11-4, 2.76) faces off against Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.95) tonight, the third start of his career against the Phillies. Note that Strasburg was the top pick in the 2009 draft of the Nationals, while Lee was a fourth-round pick of the Montreal Expos in 2000.

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A “Never Say Die” Weekend

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The Washington Nationals have made a name for themselves in the 2012 season by winning two different types of games. The first and more common type involves a healthy serving of solid starting pitching, a clutch piece of offense or two to snare the lead, and a lockdown performance by an ensemble bullpen. It is the kind of affair that the Nationals have found themselves involved in ever since their 2-1, Opening Day victory at Wrigley Field. But then there is that other kind of game, the nail-biting, nerve-fraying, mind-boggling variety that has made this season truly memorable.

This weekend’s matchups in Milwaukee provided one game from each mold. After splitting the first two of the four-game set with the Brewers, the Nationals sent hometown hero Jordan Zimmermann, originally from nearby Auburndale, Wisconsin, to make his first-ever start against the team he grew up supporting. The emerging ace delivered a sterling performance, allowing a single run on five hits, fanning six Milwaukee batters over six strong innings to extend his streak of throwing at least that many frames to 21 consecutive starts. In so doing, he lowered his ERA to the third-best mark in the National League at 2.28 and matched his career high with his eighth victory. He also improved to 4-0 with a 0.97 ERA in the month of July, during which he allowed just four earned runs and four walks while fanning 31 in 37.0 innings pitched.

Jordan Zimmermann finished off a spectacular month of July in his home state.

Meanwhile, the Nationals rookies came through with huge contributions again, as Corey Brown opened the scoring with a solo shot and Tyler Moore added a two-run bomb to provide more than enough cushion in a 4-1 final. In all, it was a solid, shutdown performance that both the team and the coaching staff could be proud of.

Then, there was Sunday’s game.

In a battle of 2004 first-round picks, it was the less-heralded Mark Rogers who seemed poised to best All-Star Gio Gonzalez, as Milwaukee had forged a 3-1 lead through five fairly normal innings. Right about then, all convention went out the window. The Nationals led off the sixth with back-to-back doubles from Ryan Zimmerman and Moore, cutting the lead to one and putting the tying run in scoring position with nobody out. But they failed to plate that tying run, and Milwaukee responded by scoring twice in the bottom of the frame to push the lead to 5-2.

In the seventh, Washington looked poised to strike again, using singles from Brown and Steve Lombardozzi followed by a walk from Bryce Harper (all rookies!) to load the bases for Zimmerman, again with none out. But Cody Ransom turned a slick 5-3 double-play, limiting the Nats to just a single run once more. And again, the Brewers came right back for two more runs in the bottom of the frame, sitting pretty with a 7-3 advantage though seven frames.

This is, as they say, about the time when things got really interesting. With one out and a runner on first, Roger Bernadina flipped an opposite field home run into the bullpen in left-center field to cut the margin in half. Jesus Flores followed with a single, Brown with a double, and Lombardozzi with an RBI-groundout to cut the margin to one and put the tying run at third with two outs. One wild pitch later, and it was suddenly tied at 7-7. But the Brewers were not about to go quietly. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez blasted back-to-back shots, reclaiming a two-run lead.

For the fourth straight inning, the Nationals were looking uphill at a discouraging scoreline. And for the fourth straight inning, they mustered a rally. Mark DeRosa drew a one-out walk, bringing Michael Morse (featured in this homestand’s Inside Pitch… Pick one up at the ballpark!) to the plate as the potential game-tying run. After Milwaukee reliever John Axford forged ahead in the count, 1-2, his catcher set up low and inside for a fastball, anything to keep Morse from getting his arms extended. Axford missed his spot, leaving his pitch up and over the middle of the plate. Morse did not miss, sending the ball on a line over the right field wall, and once again, the game was tied.

Michael Morse unleashed Beast Mode twice – in the ninth inning to tie the game, and in the 11th to win it.

Craig Stammen kept Milwaukee off the board in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings, and neither team scored in the 10th inning. In the top of the 11th, Harper walked and Zimmerman singled, bringing Morse to bat with a chance to summon Beast Mode one more time. He delivered once again, pulling a double just inside the third-base bag to score both runners. Tyler Clippard would allow a solo shot to Corey Hart in the bottom of the frame, but shut the door in time to lock down the victory, with Morse himself gloving the final out on a foul pop in front of the Brewers dugout.

The games of this second variety, of the seemingly impossible string of back-and-forth momentum swings, of comebacks from the proverbial dead, seem to keep reaching more and more epic levels of absurdity at every pass. Sunday’s contest lacked only the walk-off hit, as it took place away from Nationals Park, but may have once again set the bar as the most dramatic of them all so far.

Perhaps most importantly, it capped a 6-1 road trip that kept the Nationals a full four games ahead of division rival Atlanta as the weekend came to a close. It also left them at 61-40, the first time the franchise has been this many games over .500 since its relocation to the Nation’s Capital. The Nats get a well-deserved off day on Monday, their only such breather in a 35-day stretch that sees them play 36 games, including seven more in a six-day stretch at home beginning on Tuesday. A word to the wise: take advantage of the day off yourself. You’re going to need every ounce of energy you’ve got left for the final 61 games of the regular season.

In the meantime, enjoy Morse’s theatrics one more time (as even Davey lets himself loose at the 1:04 mark) and both Bob Carpenter’s and Charlie Slowes’ calls of the action.

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