Mur­phy, Werth ab­sent for fi­nale vs. Braves

The Washington Post - - BASEBALL - Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/nationals

Daniel Mur­phy was in the Wash­ing­ton Nationals’ orig­i­nal lineup for their se­ries fi­nale against the At­lanta Braves on Thurs­day night in his usual spots, bat­ting fourth and play­ing sec­ond base. But when Mur­phy ar­rived at SunTrust Park, he vis­ited Man­ager Dusty Baker’s of­fice to in­form him he was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some dis­com­fort in his right leg and it was prob­a­bly best if he didn’t play. So Baker scratched him from the lineup.

The Nationals de­scribed Mur­phy’s in­jury as right leg tight­ness. Mur­phy missed the fi­nal cou­ple weeks of the 2016 reg­u­lar sea­son with a glute in­jury, but that was his left side. Mur­phy de­clined to talk about the in­jury.

“We thought it would be bet­ter to give him today off be­cause he doesn’t want off and we don’t want him off in New York,” Baker said. “And then you still have a long stretch of the road trip to go.”

While Mur­phy is ex­pected to play in New York, Trea Turner is likely to join him and com­plete the start­ing Nationals’ mid­dle in­field. Baker said the club could ac­ti­vate the short­stop from the 10-day dis­abled list as early as Fri­day, though he prob­a­bly wouldn’t start.

Turner hasn’t played since he strained his right ham­string April 8. He was el­i­gi­ble to come off the dis­abled list Wed­nes­day and spent two days this week play­ing in ex­tended spring train­ing games at the Nationals’ fa­cil­ity in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Re­ports on Trea were good,” Baker said. “I think he had five at-bats, a cou­ple walks, a triple and an­other hit or some­thing. They said his de­fense was good. He’ll be com­ing to New York with us, maybe ac­ti­vate him to­mor­row. I don’t know if I’ll play him to­mor­row, be­cause that’s the rest day that we kind of had planned for him af­ter be­ing so in­ac­tive for so long. But he’ll be avail­able to us later in the game.”

As for Mur­phy, Baker said he first no­ticed the NL MVP run­ner-up wasn’t him­self in Wed­nes­day’s win. Mur­phy was the only Nationals po­si­tion player who didn’t record one of Wash­ing­ton’s sea­son-high 20 hits. He went 0 for 4 with two walks and a run scored.

Jayson Werth, as ex­pected, was also not in the Nationals’ lineup. Werth ex­ited Wed­nes­day’s win dur­ing his sec­ond at-bat in the third in­ning with groin spasms. The 37-yearold left fielder was op­ti­mistic he won’t need to go on the dis­abled list and said Thurs­day he was feel­ing bet­ter than ex­pected.

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