Daniel Murphy was originally penciled in as part of the Washington Nationals’ lineup for last night’s series opener in SunTrust Park.
Murphy was scratched a little while later, however, with what the Nats described as left hamstring tightness.
Dusty Baker told reporters after the Nationals’ 4-2 win in Atlanta that he expected Murphy to be back in the lineup for the second game of three with the Braves.
“He’ll probably be in there tomorrow,” Baker said.
“He just had a little tightness, and so we certainly -- they worked on him, and we need him in there to be sharp and stay sharp, and so like I said he will probably be in there tomorrow.”
Baker’s Nationals managed to take the opener from the Braves without their starting second baseman in the lineup, with impressive games out Trea Turner (2 for 4, 2 R, 2 stolen bases), Anthony Rendon (2 for 5), and Ryan Zimmerman (3 for 5 with a double and 2 RBIs).
Turner’s two stolen bases gave him a single season franchise record for steals, passing Alfonso Soriano, who stole 41 in 159 games in 2006.
Turner, who missed 51 games on the DL with a fractured wrist, reached 42 in his 88th game of the season.
“That tells me that I’d like to see him all year,” Baker said when asked about Turner setting a new franchise mark.
“He’d probably steal 70 or 80, you know what I mean? It’s just a matter of him staying healthy. He’s playing great, he got his stroke together.”
Zimmerman’s two RBIs on the night were his 100th and 101st, and his double was the 30th of 2017, giving the Nationals’ first first-round pick the first, “... 30-HR, 30-double, 100-RBI season by a Nationals player since 2012 (Adam LaRoche) and just the 4th in Nats’ history (2005-present),” as the Nationals noted on Twitter during the game.
“Zim had an outstanding game,” Baker said.
“He got his 100th and 101st RBI, and Anthony is closing in on 100. We’ve got some guys having good years, and that’s especially nice when you win and those guys reach those milestones.”
Turner, Zimmerman, and Rendon are back in the lineup tonight, and Murphy is in there as well, as Baker predicted he would be.