Michael Morse suffered a bad bruise on his right hand but test results didn’t reveal any broken bones after he was hit by a pitch in the first inning of the Nationals’ 4-2 loss to the Phillies on Friday night. Ian Desmond, who was scratched from the lineup about 40 minutes before first pitch, didn’t play because of a mild hamstring strain.
Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said Morse was likely not to play on Saturday, and Desmond would probably miss the rest of the series. Coupled with Monday’s team dayoff, Desmond could rest his hamstring for three straight days.
Desmond pulled up limping when trying to beat out a double play in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game. At the time, Desmond said he tweaked his knee. But after Desmond told Johnson before the game that he felt some discomfort, Johnson pulled him from the lineup. Desmond said he was examined and the injury was diagnosed as a strain.
“I’m sure it’s something I’ve had before and not even known,” he said. “It’s a little bit sore. I think Davey wanted to be smart and see if it can get better in the next few days and take care of it before it gets any worse.”
An X-ray of Morse’s hand revealed no broken bones. The outside part of his right hand was swollen. After the game, he said he had yet to try to test his grip by holding a bat.
After a pitch from Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick hit Morse on the right hand, Morse dropped his bat, bent over and clutched his forearm. Given Morse’s reaction, Johnson feared it was broken. Morse left the game after being hit. With no broken bones, the Nationals dodged a major injury to the heart of their lineup.
“Anytime you get hit in the hands, it’s kind of nerve-wracking,” Morse said. “... Should be okay. Hopefully.”