The Washington Times - August 11, 2011, 05:03PM


Michael Morse was hit on the left elbow with a pitch in the seventh inning of the Nationals vs. Cubs game Thursday, and doubled over in pain at first base. As trainers came out to attend to the Nationals’ best hitter, Morse took off his wrist guard and tried to outstretch a trembling hand to go through a few basic tests. He was then removed from the game.

Jonny Gomes replaced Morse on the basepaths and moved to left field when the Nationals began the bottom half of the inning. Laynce Nix shifted to first base in Morse’s absence. The pitch Morse was hit with was a 91-mph fastball.

Losing Morse for any extended period of time would be a huge blow not only to the Nationals offense but also to the first baseman, who was putting together the finest season of his career and one of the best in the National League. With 6 ½ weeks to go in the season, Morse was firmly in contention for the NL batting title with a .319 average, and, with 20 home runs, could possibly get some MVP votes.

There was no immediate update on Morse’s status.